Chapter 467: You're Irreplaceable
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
After the illusion disappeared, the lobby fell into an eerily silence.
After a while, Scroll finally sighed and said, "No wonder your sister fell over in shock. That's quite... terrifying indeed."
"The ability to place an entire group under an illusion is very rare, but not new..." Agatha said slowly. "When I was in the Union, I knew at least two witches with similar powers, one of which was a Senior Witch from Starfall City."
"How many times can you use this ability every day?" asked Wendy. "Can you control the specific time period that the illusion shows?" According to His Highness' usual practices, there should be a comprehensive test of her ability that sought to understand its characteristics, efficacy and usage.
"About... two or three times," whispered Summer, "and what do you mean by time period? Are you asking how recent the things I show are?" Seeing Wendy nod, Summer stroked her own head in embarrassment. "I've never tested it, but I think earlier things take more effort..."
Wendy couldn't help but laugh. "It doesn't take effort, but the magic power inside your body."
"You should be able to feel it flowing inside you like water, or floating inside you like fog. Using your ability requires magic power," explained Scroll. "There're so many things to learn about magic power, and I'll teach them all to you in the future."
"Uh-huh." Summer nodded.
Then, Wendy instructed Summer to use all her powers to display an illusion. This time, the illusion was from a day and a half ago, when the lights were shining in the lobby, and the sisters of the Witch Union were having dinner at a long table. Afterwards, Summer completely exhausted her magic power and lowered her arms, panting, with beads of sweat emerging on her forehead.
Wendy recorded the results of the two tests on a notebook, but she couldn't think of a single use for Summer's ability. "Her illusions can only show the past but can't predict the future, so we'll have to wait for His Highness Roland to return and judge." At this thought, she couldn't help but feel a little frustrated. His Highness once told her that he wanted to make the Witch Union a self-governing organization and to appoint her as the director. However, she wasn't as nearly knowledgeable as His Highness, so she couldn't think of all the uses for her sisters' abilities as well as he could.
After collecting her emotions, Wendy was about to say a few words of encouragement to Summer, when Scroll made a gesture towards her.
The two witches stepped aside, and Wendy asked, "What's wrong?"
"Were you planning on telling Summer that she could stay here if she didn't want to go home?" Scroll asked with a frown. "Did you forget that witches need to be verified before joining the Witch Union?"
Wendy obviously knew that witches needed to answer ten questions about their identity and background under the supervision of Nightingale before being accepted. "But Summer probably didn't lie... Her identification was made by Soraya, and her background matches up. Not to mention that she just awakened and is a non-combat type witch, so even the church won't be able to predict something like this."
"Magic power isn't the only thing that can harm someone. A dagger or a pack of poison can have the same effect, if not better."
"No, how could she possibly..."
"But you can't rule out this possibility." Scroll interrupted. "The City Hall is in charge of resident verification and won't inspect every household, so a sudden awakening is actually the best way of getting into the castle..." She paused. "I know that this possibility is very small, but don't forget that we can't afford to lose His Highness Roland. Lady Tilly is also living in the witch building right now, so if something happens to her, the relationship between Border Town and Sleeping Island will completely splinter, and all of His Highness' work will be for nothing. It's too high of a risk."
"..." Wendy was silent. She knew that Scroll's concerns were reasonable and weren't targeting Summer, but she still found them hard to accept. As the first witch to be awakened in the town under the rule of Roland, Summer was treated as a potential enemy spy, which was simply heartbreaking. After a long time, Wendy said, "I understand. I'll send her back."
"I'll go with you." Scroll sighed.
After they left the castle, Summer instantly became much more energetic and began holding Wendy's hand and asking about the witches and the lord.
"What's wrong?" Wendy asked after answering all her questions. "Why are you so glad that you don't have to live in the castle?"
"Uh... " Summer gulped and lowered her head in embarrassment. "I heard that the lord, or His Highness, is a very scary person and ravages all the women around him every day."
"Pfft!" Wendy almost choked in shock. "Where did you hear that from?"
"Isn't he Prince Roland of the Kingdom of Graycastle? I've heard this many times in Eagle City, and there are even folk songs that say the Second Prince is conniving, Prince Roland is lecherous, and only Princess Garcia of Port of Clearwater is a good ruler," whispered Summer.
"I see..." Scroll said with great interest. "This's probably Garcia's way of promoting herself. It's quite unique."
"Is he... not that kind of person?"
"Of, of course not," Wendy said, blushing. "You'll soon learn that he's the lord who is worthy of the witches' trust!"
They came to the residential area where Summer's family lived, walked up to a two-story house, and knocked on her door.
Summer's mother answered the door.
"Mom, I'm back!" shouted Summer excitedly.
"How did you..." She paused and stared at the two people behind her daughter with a panicked look. "Did she do something wrong? Why don't you want her?"
"His Highness hasn't returned yet, so..."
"She can stay in the castle and wait for His Highness to return," said Summer's mother impatiently. "Summer is very obedient. She might be a little slow, but she'll do anything you ask her to do."
"Ma'am, the Witch Union isn't what you think it..." Wendy felt anger rushing into her heart, but Scroll interrupted her before she could finish her sentence.
Scroll took out one gold royal and waved it in front of the woman. "Your daughter is indeed a witch, so we'll sign the contract when His Highness returns. Here's your compensation for the first month."
"Yes, yes." The woman's attention immediately moved on the shiny coin. "Thank you, my lady!"
"Remember, you're now taking care of her on behalf of His Highness. Understand?"
"Yes, my lady, I'll take good care of Summer."
After they left the house, Wendy couldn't contain her anger anymore. "How could you pay such a terrible woman? Even if you were paying in advance, you should have paid Summer."
"Would Summer be able to keep the gold royal?" Scroll's answer shocked Wendy. "If she can't keep it for herself, the money will eventually fall into her family's hands; if she can, she'll be completely alienated by her family. That's why I gave the money directly to her mother, so Summer won't have to carry this burden, and it might help to raise her status in her family. She has so much time ahead of her. If we can use the gold royal to buy a better life for her, then it's a good deal."
"..." Wendy pondered for a while and said, "You're right. I was too naive."
The consecutive setbacks greatly discouraged Wendy, and she began to think that she wasn't good enough to lead the Witch Union.
"However, no one cares about them more than you do," said Scroll with a smile, as if she had read her thoughts. "After being in the Witch Cooperation Association led by Cara, I realize that... a trustworthy leader would care about her witches whole heartedly and always put their interests first, regardless of their abilities. That's exactly why you're irreplaceable."
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