Chapter 213: The Curse of the Witch
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
In that instant, Thales figured out a lot of things.
In the outskirts of Dragon Clouds City, Nicholas told him that the ‘king’s men’ found clues that implied Moriah was assassinated by Disaster Sword during their investigation in the territory of Constellation.
On top of the connection between Thales’ attempted assassination at the Fortress and Disaster Sword, the two clues pointed to the involvement of Archduke Poffret.
However, Miranda and Kohen had already proven that Disaster Sword was only a bait to lure them there.
In other words… the intel received by the king’s so-called men was a lie. It was an excuse to draw King Nuven’s attention to Poffret.
The problem was, in the whole of Eckstedt, who among King Nuven’s men had the authority and capability to act as his eyes and ears, cross the border on his behalf to launch an investigation, and then send back false, fabricated intel?
With a conflicted gaze, Thales stared at the lady in red before him. He observed her crossed forearms as she stood calmly in front of the heavy door.
Why did Lampard’s large-scale operation not alert Dragon Clouds City? Why did his army manage to enter the city without raising an alarm? How did he manage to find an overwhelming amount of connections…
Thales took a deep breath, and shifted his attention back to the situation at hand.
Raphael stood at the front with Kohen on his left and Miranda on his right.
The earlier impassiveness was stripped from the young man’s face. What replaced it was intense vigilance and grimness.
“I assume it was a patrol on rotating shifts, but…” Kohen was eyeing the half-smiling Red Witch doubtfully, and he whispered with caution, “The isn’t good, isn’t it—who’s that old woman?”
“Not good at all.” Miranda held the handle of her sword and answered softly as she stood behind Raphael, “I think it’s the Red Witch.”
Kohen did not speak any further. He furrowed his eyebrows once again.
Thales held Little Rascal behind him tightly, feeling the slight tremble in her palm.
He took a deep breath, telling himself to stay calm.
‘If the Red Witch is involved in this, it means…’
“Madam Calshan.” Raphael glared at the old lady coldly. “No wonder I was able to slip in so easily.
“You knew I would come, so you set a trap?”
Calshan gazed at him, and grinned all of a sudden.
“I have been dealing with the Secret Intelligence since I was eight.” The old lady wore a kind expression. There was no sign of emotion in her eyes. “I know all of you far too well.”
There was a slight movement in Raphael’s expression.
Thales twitched his eyebrows. ‘Eight?
‘Does the Secret Room practice child labor?’
He gave a sarcastic remark internally.
“As for you, you are still too young, little boy,” the Red Witch flatly said. “If it had been that fellow, Morat, he would have noticed that something was wrong when he entered the city.”
Raphael did not speak. His red eyes were flickering. The tension on his face did not relax one bit.
Having spent years in the Secret Intelligence Department, he knew very well that this seemingly frail old lady before him harbored a great amount of formidable power.
“Bloody hell.” Kohen turned his head. The corners of his lips twitched slightly. “That’s the Red Witch? Is she ambushing us?”
Ralf shook his head. His facial expression was grim. He sensed something in the wind.
“As you can see.” Miranda’s gaze was fixed on the door behind Calshan. “I can sense that there are a lot of people laying in wait out there.”
Advancing stealthily, and launching a surprise attack had been their greatest advantage. It was no longer the case at this moment.
Grimacing, Wya gritted his teeth. The attendant, who was standing in front of Thales whispered, “She is standing very close to us. At this distance, perhaps we can—”
“No,” Miranda answered straightaway.
Kohen frowned. “Why?”
“Because she’s the Red Witch.” Raphael seemed unfazed. His lips parted slightly and he answered the question on Miranda’s behalf.
Only fools would believe that she came to stop them unprepared.
It was best that they did not act on impulse.
Hearing this, the police officer gritted his teeth angrily.
They might have met half of the misfortune in their lifetimes on this day.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“Look for another exit,” Miranda whispered. “If there’s no other option, we’ll break out from her side—they are definitely well-prepared.”
At this moment, Madam Calshan, who was standing opposite them gave a chuckle.
Her laugh sounded old and frail, yet warm and kind.
As her laughter rang, the Constellatiates felt as if they were facing a great enemy.
“Raphael Lindbergh, the stray orphan from Great Desert is now the Black Prophet’s most valued apprentice,” Calshan said, smiling. “Is this how you repay the Arunde Family, who nurtured and cultivated you for twelve years?
“Why? Did Duke Arunde mistreat you? Why did you betray him?”
Thales’ expression changed.
He glanced at the other two. Miranda appeared unbothered, while Kohen was confused.
“But you knew, did you not—look at your eyes.” Calshan sighed, and continued in a sympathetic manner, “You will never become one of them.”
Based on what Thales saw from his back, Raphael seemed unfazed.
However, from the portion where Raphael’s sleeve was cut into half, the prince noticed that the muscle on his arm had slightly tightened.
‘He’s perturbed,’ a voice in Thales’ mind whispered.
“And you, Lady Arunde.” The Red Witch turned to look at Miranda with a loving, motherly expression. “Have you thought about it?”
Miranda was startled.
“Why Raphael? Why him?” Calshan said slowly. “Why did the Black Prophet choose him, someone who’s without power and status, instead of an aristocrat with a bright future?”
Hearing that, the frosty-faced swordswoman could not help but frown.
“Do not listen to her!”
Raphael turned and had his side facing the Red Witch. There was a look of dread on his face. “Not even a single word!”
“Look at your father… If you still care about the Northern Territory, and don’t want to see this precious land seized through despicable means, the Kingdom of Eckstedt will always welcome you with an open door, Northland girl—Northland belongs only to Northlanders.” The Red Witch smirked.
Thales frowned a little— he found something odd about this sentence.
But Miranda merely scowled without a word.
It was uncertain what she was thinking.
The Red Witch turned her head again, looking at the towering, blond figure.
While worried, Kohen felt his skin crawl.
“Ah, Officer Kohen Karabeyan from Walla Hill.” This time, Calshan wore a bright smile. “As for you—”
Kohen’s expression changed as he interrupted her, “Cut your bullsh*t, old woman!”
Recalling Raphael’s warning, Kohen’s face tensed. He gripped his sword handle with a fierce look.
He shook his head vigorously, and nervously blurted, “All the words that you utter, I will not listen to a single one of it!”
Miranda rolled her eyes, huffing a puff of air through her nose.
Raphael raised his eyebrows slightly.
‘This man… He’s so nervous that he has become incoherent.’
However, eyeing the rude Kohen, the Red Witch merely shook her head. She smiled with a kind expression as though she was looking at a mischievous child.
“Oh, no, little Kohen.” Calshan shook her head and said, “I just wanted to say that…
“You are rather handsome.”
Kohen’s ferocious expression froze.
Even Thales arched his eyebrows.
Kohen wore a blank expression. He blinked, and asked in astonishment, “You just said—”
“I said, don’t listen to her!
“The words of the red-robed one messes with one’s senses. Her curse bewitches one’s heart.” Raphael exhaled fiercely as he continued to survey his surroundings. “The Red Witch excels at lying. Every word she says cannot be trusted.
“She is the only person in the world who can fool the Black Prophet!”
Calshan heaved a sigh, shaking her head. The expression in her eyes seemed to say, “Can I now?”
‘Fool the Black Prophet?’
He recalled the standoff between him and Morat in Mindis Hall, Morat’s ‘psionic ability’, as well as the interrogation he laboriously passed with the help from Yodel and Serena.
‘The Red Witch… managed to fool that old fellow in black?
‘Then, is her ability not the arch-nemesis of Morat’s lie-detecting ‘psionic ability’?’
Meanwhile, Kohen was astounded.
‘Wait a minute.’
“She lied?” Kohen blinked, feeling perplexed. He turned his head and asked, “But she just said that I was handsome…”
Miranda and Raphael turned their heads in unison, and shouted furiously.
Kohen had no choice but to shut his mouth.
“God, I have a feeling that she can demotivate us with her mere mouth.” Wya sighed.
Ralf muttered something, but it was unintelligible.
Thales did not speak. He only stared at the Red Witch while his skin crawled.
“There’s no other exit.” Miranda retracted her gaze from the corner, shaking her head.
“What should we do now?” Kohen exhaled and whispered in frustration, “Stand here and do nothing?”
“I’ll stall for time. All of you slowly spread out.” Raphael twitched the corners of his lips ever so slightly—Thales could not figure out how he learned to speak without moving his lips. “Look for an opportunity to strike together. See if we can take her down.
“The Red Witch allegedly isn’t skilled in combat.” Raphael narrowed his eyes. “But be careful. She may carry certain items such as the Alchemy Ball.”
“Alright… Wait, what do you mean ‘allegedly’?”
“I mean it literally: ‘allegedly’.”
However, soon after, Thales became the next receiver of the Red Witch’s speech.
“Prince Thales.” The old lady cast her gaze on the prince. She had on a complex, sympathetic look. “It is an honor to see you again.”
Thales’ expression changed slightly. “It is also my honor—if only I was not in a prison cell, and you were not siding with Lampard.”
“Your Highness.” Raphael shook his head at Thales, squinting slightly. “The lie.”
The prince kept repeating Raphael’s words about the witch’s curse in his mind to warn himself to be cautious.
Compared to the Black Prophet he faced in Mindis Hall, the vibe Morat gave off, and the immense tension he felt in his nerves every second while he was there…
This old lady gave him an elusive, hair-raising feeling of uneasiness, an unknown panic, and especially a dread of what she could say to him next.
Calshan sighed, and shook her head at him with an earnest look on her face. The wrinkles on her cheeks quivered and she appeared helpless.
“My deepest apologies, but you have come to the nation of the Great Dragon…”
The old lady then grievously said, “Since you are going back to prison, perhaps never to be freed again… What message do you want to pass to her?”
Thales frowned a little. He became wary in his heart. “Who?”
“Who else can it be?” Calshan sighed with a cryptic expression and a hint of a smile dangled from the corner of her lips. She seemed as though she was reminiscing. “It is of course the beautiful and insightful…
The second he heard the name, Thales frowned.