TALES OF A WITCHER - Season 7 Episode 81
Sleeping Island in the Fjords.
As the winter approached, the sea breeze swept through as the island became colder. Tilly could hear the sharp howling when the cold wind blew through the gap even with the window closed.
Not many people would stroll outside the house at this time. However, there were always celebrations in the square of Sleeping Island with a grand bonfire that lasted for several days and pots of boiling hot fish soups. The witches had transformed the square into a lovely paradise with their abilities.
Tilly also wanted to join the carnival and share the joy of the church’s defeat, if only she did not have so many things to deal with.
The witches’ life had changed radically since she brought the news back. It was not the change of their living conditions but they had become mentally different. Everyone seemed to have their burdens lifted off their shoulders with more vivid eyes while they had clearly looked and spoke more freely and comfortably.
They finally did not have to live in fear and worry anymore. The stress that had been pressing on them had finally broken down and the densely-gathered clouds disappeared. Their enthusiasms could not be dispersed even by the howling cold wind.
“This is probably the ‘liberation’ Roland mentioned,” Tilly thought.
This was when Camilla Dary, the Chief Butler of Sleeping Island came into the house after knocking.
“Your Highness, I’ve completed the preliminary statistic for the witches who’re willing to go to the Western Region,” she said while sitting crossed-legged opposite of Tilly and she put a list down on the low table, “and almost half of them have signed up to help the Western Region.”
“Really? It’s better than I expected. You’ve done a good job.” Tilly smiled and nodded while picking up the list to take a detailed look.
Regarding the relocation to the Western Region, Princess Tilly had told the witches that they could go to support the construction of the city of Neverwinter in order to withstand a greater catastrophe, which was the Battle of Divine Will.
In order to make sure everyone voluntarily made their choices, Tilly did not hide the facts about the witches’ empires, the Union, and the demon. She had told everyone that the church was only part of the Union and that the real enemy of the human beings was the demons instead. They had no mercy or pity, so helping the Western Region was also helping themselves. Of course, she also made it clear that they could live a peaceful life on the island, if they did not want to leave.
She had initially thought that many sisters would decide to stay on Sleeping Island as they might be intimidated by the new enemies or they had become fed up of dealing with the common people or they had doubt about the uncertain future. However, the statistical results showed that nearly half of them had decided to help. The demons that they had never seen were far less scary than the church and the witches’ wish for the broader outside-world had not extinguished.
“They’re interested in Prince Roland who defeated the pope and wanted to see how the lord who eradicated the witches’ enemy looks like.” Camilla helplessly sighed. “And, most importantly, your elder brother also gained a lot of extra points for himself with this identity and they had transferred the same trust they have in you to him.”
“You seem worried.”
“Of course, he’s a noble and a common person after all. He’s fundamentally different from us… And, to be honest, blood sometimes can be a hurdle to the benefit.” The chief butler frowned and said, “Your Highness, I’m neither questioning your decision nor saying that your brother is a hypocrite, but what if… I mean what if what he seeks is in contrary to the interests of the witches, and kill us like the other nobles?”
“I understand your concern, this decision was made after my repeated consideration.” Tilly put down the list and held Camilla’s hand. “The witches may be different from the common people but we all have the common goal under the threat of Battle of Divine Will which is to stay alive. Why not we take this opportunity to integrate into the world while forming an integral community of interests with the common people rather than completely dodging it? As our abilities go deeper into all sectors, Roland can’t leave the witch’s power even if he regrets and wants to cancel the agreement with Sleeping Island.”
“However… will he let go of his control on us?”
“Based on what happened in the past six months, Roland did not seem to impose any additional restrictions on the witches. Otherwise, the Witch Union in the Western Region would not be supporting him without holding back.” Tilly smiled. “And, I believe in my instincts more than these general principles.”
“Yeah… I don’t think he’ll do that,” she slowly said while tapping the table.
Camilla hesitated and finally laughed as if she was surrendering. “Thinking about it now, your instincts are never wrong since I knew you.”
“It’ll be the same this time.” Tilly smiled.
“I understand, Your Highness. I’ll finish the preparatory work for the witches’ relocation as soon as possible,” the chief butler said with a hand covering her chest.
Princess Tilly was clear that Camilla who was born as a noble had lost her confidence to the noble as she had seen them stop at nothing to get powers and interests. However, she did not know that Tilly could feel that Roland was obviously not simply a traditional noble through her deeper contact developed with Roland. Roland treated everyone differently, not only the witches as compared to the noble. She called him “brother”, not because of the relationship between her and the previous Prince Roland, but she simply liked this kind of barrier-free and unbiased relationship.
When she talked to Roland, she could always feel relaxed and comfortable which she had not felt for a long time. She believed that the other witches also felt the same.
“Oh yeah, I recently heard some bad rumors.” Camilla changed the subject.
“What’s the rumor?”
“It’s about the news you brought back. Some of them think that they should also imitate the Union and create an organization with witches as the superiors to regain the glory of their ancestors since the witches had once created a huge empire that rules all the common people.”
“The source?” Tilly lifted her eyebrows and said, “Is it the witches from the Bloodfang Association?”
“No… they believe in loyalty to the strong. The Western Region could defeat the seemingly invincible enemies, and Iffy, Softfeathers, and Nightfall further confirmed them in this belief. The combat witches were the first to register to go to the city of Neverwinter.” Camilla shook her head. “I’ve surveyed and the source should be some other witch organization.”
The witches in Sleeping Island were a large aggregation which was similar to the Witch Cooperation Association in Seawindshire. There were a few scattered groups other than the Bloodfang Association. These groups were generally built to evade the church’s arrests and to help each other before Tilly’s appeal. However, they did not have the power of Bloodfang Association and they had rarely gossiped about her policies.
“I understand.” She nodded.
“Do we need to talk to their leader?”
“No, let them be,” Tilly said, “and they’ll naturally understand that the Union has become history when they reach the Western Region. And, a completely new path is waiting for us.”