Chapter 328 Formal talk
After Tilly had left his office, Roland finally breathed out in relieve.
Obviously, when in front of a smart person, having to hold serious conversation while also talking complete nonsense created a lot of pressure. Especially, if you want to maintain a sincere and genuine expression. Fortunately, Nightingale’s report allowed him to take a breather – Roland took the fact that the witches from Sleeping Island have all returned to the castle as an opportunity to end the conversation.
"How come you don’t have any special feelings when facing your younger sister who's become a witch?" Nightingale said as she turned around to sit on the table, occupying a high ground to overlook the prince.
He rolled his eyes and ill-humoredly said, "Can’t feeling strong pressure also be regarded as a special feeling?”
"I thought it was a touching reunion," Nightingale said, curling her lips.
"Previously I didn’t have a good relationship with her," Roland sighed. "During the time we lived in the palace, I used to bully her. Later when we grew up we both became estranged from one another, so it was an unexpected pleasure for her to come here."
"Oh?" Nightingale said meaningfully, "It is unlike you to confront an unfamiliar witch alone, as I see it you are quite trusting of her."
That’s because I didn't want you to see me lying, Roland decided it would be better not to answer, instead he refilled his cup and leaned back in his chair slowly sipping a mouthful.
"In short... you will come to understand it later."
Nightingale reached out, touching his lips, "You will tell me everything, won’t you?"
"I’ll take that as a promise then," she laughed and disappeared.
Roland leaned back against his chair, recalling his whole conversation with Tilly, searching for any possible flaw – he had given her the "most appropriate" explanation that he could think of. Many years of work experience had told him, the more exaggerated a lie, the lower the possibility that it would survive speculation. Therefore, deliberately hiding one’s clumsiness during childhood to save face, accidentally finding ancient books, or meeting a hermit who taught him were the kinds of lies that would be easily exposed as long as the other side kept on asking. Furthermore, in addition to being his sister, the other side was also from a witch organization, thus every lie exposed before we form a stable relationship could bring on a heavy blow to our mutual trust.
So he chose to tell the truth about the parts that could be uncovered and explained the additional from a sudden appearance of new memories – even though it sounded incredible, but in contrast to an even more incredible thought of crossing overit at least did not have too many negative consequences and also couldn’t be claimed to be false. If the latter event was to take place, it wouldn’t be certain whether or not she could come to accept a complete stranger from another world.
As long as he insisted on his identity as Graycastle’s 4th Prince there would be no way to deny it. Furthermore, Roland believed that all she had wanted was to hear an explanation personally from his mouth. Within his heart, he knew, that a good leader shouldn’t entangle themselves with the past, instead the most important thing would be to move towards the future. The winter would allow him to show her the vast prospects that the Western Region held so as to ensure their cooperation, only then would this be seen as a successful first meeting. As for the relationship between her and him, there would be a lot of time to repair it in the future.
That evening, they hold a grand banquet in the castle hall.
Not to mention the commonly seen pepper steak, fried egg, and white bread there were also all kinds of liquor on display, sweet smelling fried bird kiss mushrooms, steamed dumplings as well as ice cream. With the desire to bring the taste of the dishes to a new level, he simultaneous introduced the concept of fancily arranged sampler platter. Placing small pieces from the main dishes on top of a big china plate and sprinkle it with soy paste, creating an excellent visual effect that entices everyone who sees it to reach out for it.
Crisscrossing their wine cups under the sparkling candle light, the dinner finally ended with a warm and lively atmosphere.
That was when the more formal talk started.
Within the living room in front of a burning fireplace, Roland and the members of the Witch Alliance sat in a long row of seats, while Tilly and the other witches of Sleeping Island sat in the opposite row. Maggie however, because of her sensitive role, had simply turned into her pigeon form and squat down on the chandelier above their heads.
Tilly took the lead and started the discussion: "I, in addition to wanting to help Border Town resist the invasion of demonic beasts, also intend to send back the first batch of five witches." She summarized Sleeping Island's current situation, "Next spring, Silver Moon Bay are going to send us a group of ordinary immigrants to the island, so we will have to rely on Lotus and Honey to prepare extra food and housing for them in advance.”
Roland got a headache, if he wanted to resist the invasion of the demonic beasts the First Army would be enough. With the exception of nimble and extremely fast types of mixed species, there was hardly any situation which demanded that they send out witches.
But in the construction area, the role of the witch was irreplaceable. At the moment, the path through the mountains toward the new sea hasn't yet been opened, the dock was only halfway constructed and he would still like to build additional cave dwellings for the newest batch of immigrants. Thus, he decided to ask, "Can you delay their journey for half a month?”
"I wish I could agree, but circumstances have changed," Tilly reluctantly shook her head, "We have already met with Sea Ghosts in the southern part of the Vortex Sea, which are fish type demonic beast. I suspect that this has to do with the advanced beginning of the Months of Demons. According to legends, the longer the Months of Demons is, the more aggressive and fearsome the demonic beasts will be. Therefore, they will have to travel as soon as possible, if we want to guarantee a relatively safe trip.
"They are not fit to fight."
"I know, that’s also the reason why Breeze will escort the ship – her ability is very effective against mentally inferior enemies, we also don’t intend to return in the same way we came. Instead, we’ll be sailing northward along the coastline until we can reach Port of Clear Water. From there we will take the usual trade route to Sleeping Island. According to recently arrived messenger birds, there haven’t been any demonic beasts detected on the routes between the Fjords and the Four Kingdoms.
Roland still had to make at least one final effort, "Uh ... So, besides Lotus and Honey, would it be possible for the other three to stay? Currently, they are only halfway through their Primary Education, so leaving now would be the equivalent to them giving up halfway..."
"Puff Haha,” Tilly couldn’t suppress her laughter, "It seems you are quite interested in them."
"..." he did not know how to respond to this statement.
"I would like to know how you are planning to use Candle’s and Evelyn’s ability?"
"Curing metal parts and brewing, the former can greatly improve the efficiency of mechanical operation, the latter well..." Roland slightly paused, "Wine is a very good thing, there are many other uses to it besides drinking.”
"Well, on Sleeping Island they’ve always been worried that there wouldn’t be an actual use for their ability, furthermore, they were also often..." Tilly didn’t elaborate further, but Roland could already speculate that she was actually talking about discrimination. The same experience Mystery Moon had to face during her time with the Witch Cooperation Association. "I am very happy to hear that you want them so urgently to stay. Sure enough, every witch has their own unique and unmatched role, and it doesn’t make the least sense that their ability would be meaningless." She looked at Evelyn and the others and asked, "What do you think?"
"I want to follow you, Lady Tilly," Sylvie stated.
I..." Candle touched her head, "Am willing to go anywhere."
"Lady Tilly, if you need me, I will go back to Sleeping Island," Evelyn fell silent for a moment before she continued to say, "Otherwise, I would like to stay in Border Town. I... there are still so many things that I hope to learn from Teacher Scroll.”
"Don’t be so nervous, I’m not forcing you to choose if you want to stay or go – it isn’t a two choice question," Tilly smiled and shook her head. "I just want to know what you think about living in Border Town. You can return to Sleeping Island at any time. The same is true for Lotus and Honey, it is unlikely that they will leave forever. I even hope to invite the witches from Border Town to come to Sleeping Island. We hope that through our efforts, whether it be the North or the South, in the future all witches should be free to live where they want. Don’t you think so too, Elder Brother?”
Roland was slightly shocked, this was the first time he had heard her addressing him like this. Even within the memories of the 4th Prince, it was also more than a decade ago. He smiled and nodded, "There will definitely be a day like this."
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