He and the Witch
Easily admitting it, the witch shrugged her shoulders.
Of course I’d realized she was watching my reaction.
I went along with such witch’s words.
“I wanted to see how the real thing is. But, it’s better than I expected”
“Do you acknowledge me?”
I wonder if I could receive a passing mark as her husband.
I know that the witch cherishes Lidi from her stories. That’s why if possible, I don’t want to be disliked or antagonize her. While I was thinking that, the witch took a large breath.
“… Let’s see, at least I understand well you’re deeply in love with this child”
“Yeah, that’s the case. I can’t help anymore but hold her dear”
Since there’s nothing to deny I nodded with utmost seriousness.
As soon as I did, she began struggling in my arms. I knew right away she was trying to hide her embarrassment.
“Jeez, Freed. Let go already!”
Knowing the reason is just her bashfulness, I released her as she wanted.
Although she pouted, she, who didn’t try leaving my side, was really cute like a small animal.
“… Well, let’s not stand around, sit down. I’ll prepare tea now”
It doesn’t seem like we’ll be driven out for the time being. When I sat relieved, sitting next to me she secretly whispered into my ear.
“Don’t be surprised when the tea comes. It’s not a poison. Its efficacy is guaranteed. So just be prepared”
When I tilted my head as Lidi informed me with an awfully serious face, the witch came back holding two wooden cups.
“Here, you’ve just eaten, right? Today’s tea is a medicinal tea to help with digestion”
“Thank you. Then let’s… drink?”
When I picked up the cup and unintentionally peeked inside, for some reason it was filled to the brim with a purple liquid.
Unable to believe what I saw, reflexively I did a double take.
Is this some harassment, while I was bewildered wondering whether I misunderstood the warm welcome, Lidi next to me picked up her cup and readily drank it all.
“Phew… Thanks for the drink!”
I fixedly stared as she put down the cup with a thump. Seeing the witch’s satisfied face upon that, I somehow understood the flow. I see. Perhaps this is a type of baptism.
Noticing that, I picked up the cup and without looking at its contents downed it in one go.
Because I had received the warning from Lidi beforehand, I intended to drink it no matter the taste, above all I wouldn’t make a foolish choice like not drinking what she drank.
As it spread in my mouth, I felt sick from the indescribable taste. But, I drank it up with desperate feelings.
“… Thank you very much”
“Hmm… You drank it. Well done not rejecting it”
When I somehow drank it and thanked her, the witch nodded as if she was impressed. After all, just as I thought it seems to be a test. For now, I felt relief that my idea wasn’t wrong.
“There should be no danger since Lidi drank it”
The witched seemed satisfied with my answer.
Then I noticed my stomach area suddenly felt considerably refreshed.
I couldn’t hide my surprise at the unreasonably quick effect.
While I was holding my abdomen in astonishment, Lidi next to me said somehow proudly.
“See? Ms. Delris’s medicine is amazing, right? Taste notwithstanding, taste notwithstanding it’s amazing!!”
Lidi who groaned taste, was as expected cute. Enjoying her desperation to my heart’s content, I turned to the witch again.
I’d heard about it, but the effect’s speed and efficacy exceeded my expectations. I can’t believe such a capable person is still hiding in the town. If possible, I’d want her to serve in the castle.
Nevertheless, I exercised self-control and decided to pass on inviting her to the castle. If I do that, this witch will never again appear before me. I know that much.
It’s a shame to have to overlook an excellent person, but it’d hurt to lose this person. Besides, above all this witch is Lidi’s friend. I couldn’t do such a thing.
While I firmly endured, the witch’s mouth curved as if she was through my thoughts.
The eyes under the hood seemed as if they saw through everything, yet I felt like she smiled.
“As expected of that King’s child. You know when to quit, huh”
Those words aroused my interest.
“Do you know my father?”
“No, he’s not my acquaintance. It’s that Meissa who knows your father”
I tilted my head at the familiar name.
“You’ve at least heard the name Connecting Witch before, right?”
I was astounded by the easily said words.
Connecting Witch Meissa. This witch is also one of the seven witches. The witch with an excellent reputation for her power to foresee better fates.
Unlike the witch before my eyes, she doesn’t live in hiding. Dealing only with the customers she’s pleased with, she’s famous as a whimsical witch. Father knows such a witch?
“I’ve heard they go way back. However, it’s rare for both parent and child to meet a witch, Wilhelm’s royalty certainly are owners of good luck”
“No… It’s the first time I hear it. Father has never…”
“It’s a wise decision. Meeting a witch isn’t something to reveal”
Incidentally I became curious about what Father requested, but realizing it’s a breach of manners I held my tongue.
“Hey Freed, shouldn’t we go back soon?”
While I was immersed in the conversation with the witch, Lidi asked a little worriedly from next to me. Those words made me finally realize how concentrated I was at the talk. When I hurriedly checked the clock, it became so late the sun must had already set.
“Sorry. I became so immersed in the talk I didn’t notice. As expected, any more would be bad”
I can’t help but be reluctant to part.
Standing up, I was about to bid her farewell, but before I did the witch spoke first.
“Wait just a minute”
“You specially came here. I might as well offer you a souvenir”
“Souvenir… is it?”
When I asked back confused by what she brought up out of nowhere, that’s right, the witch nodded.
“Even if I say that, it’s not a thing. It’s a hint. You’ve been worried recently, haven’t you”
Worried――――. At those words, in my mind I listed some matters causing concern.
I don’t have a single problem in my private life. I’m beyond happy to spend every day with Lidi. Speaking of problems, it’s that she won’t say those words, but that’s the matter she must solve herself. So the worry must be related to the national politics.
The matter of Sahaja. The matter of Andre’s disappearance. And – the matter of the magician who destroyed my barrier. Which one will the hint be about.
As my eyes lit up at once, the witch smiled meanly.
I was strangely convinced by that smile that this elderly woman is indeed a witch.
“I won’t go as far as to tell you what kind of worry is that. Think about it yourself… What you’re searching for is right by. Cast away your preconceptions and try to reconsider once again”
“There are countless hints scattered about to notice. There’s no such thing as impossible in this world. Start from there”
Saying that, she sank into silence as if to say that the talk is over, despite my confusion I thanked her and left the house.
I joined hands with Lidi, and while walking back ruminated over the words the witch said.
“… What you’re searching for is right by. There’s no such thing as impossible… huh”
“Freed? Why do you have a grim face?”
“Ah, aah. Sorry”
Before I realized we went through the witch’s barrier back to the town.
It seems we’ve run quite late, the day already came to an end.
A gatekeeper will be standing at the middle gate. There’s no problem because we possess permits, but thinking it grew later than planned, I apologized to Lidi.
It seems I was frowning while pondering. I told her it’s nothing… Suddenly, I recalled a doubt from some time ago.
―――― Why was she able to discover the witch’s dwelling.
She said it’s a coincidence. But, could you break that solid barrier by coincidence? That’s impossible.
Besides, thinking about carefully, at the time of the incident with Prince Maximilian, she’s the only one who passed through the hedge barrier in the castle. I was under the impression the barrier had been destroyed from the start and didn’t think about it further, but supposing it hadn’t been?
―――― She can’t use magic.
Because I’d heard that, it didn’t even cross my mind. But, she herself said she has a large amount of magical power, normally it’d be strange she can’t use it.
Then, why can’t she use magic.
… Isn’t it because she’s endowed with a different system of magic.
Thinking that far, reflexively I covered my mouth.
When I looked down at Lidi, she looked back with a mystified face.
What if Lidi… is a neutralization user?
Impossible. When I denied my thoughts – I recalled the witch’s words from a while ago.
There’s no such thing as impossible. What you’re looking for is right by.
I fixedly stared at her face.
Supposing she’s a neutralization user. Thinking so, various things suddenly fell into place.
That she passed through the barrier and found her way to the witch’s dwelling.
That Prince Maximilian’s magical reduction bottle was rendered useless.
That my barrier disappeared.
Every question is neatly resolved.
She’s exactly the ability user I was searching for.
“Lidi… perhaps you?”
Not knowing what I’m asking her, she tilted her head.
When I tried to question her――――.
In the corner of my vision shined a flash of light, while reflexively protecting her I dropped forward.
The identity of the flash were knives. Having confirmed multiple of them were stuck right beside us I clicked my tongue. Because I evaded them at once both Lidi and I are unhurt, but there’s no mistaking that there’s an enemy nearby.
Who the hell is it in the middle of the town. Who set the ambush.
The area became still as death. The guards who should be deployed don’t seem to have noticed this strange situation yet. We’ve passed through many narrow alleys only the locals use, so that might have been inevitable.
She raised an anxious voice from within my arms.
She must’ve seen knives piercing the ground. To alleviate her anxiety, I showed a smile.
“It’s okay, Lidi. I’ll end it right away. You don’t have to worry about anything”
When I hugged her tightly, she firmly clung to me.
Still hugging her who’s like this with one arm, I stood up.
With my dominant hand I drew the sword from my waist, and pointed the blade in the direction of human presences.
There seems to be a considerable amount of people, but it doesn’t matter.
The sin of disturbing my tryst with her is heavy. I’ll have them compensate properly.
I showed a faint smile.
“You should realize the significance of who you pointed blades at”
Multiple blood lusts swelled up.
Of course, I don’t feel like losing.