Chapter 597: Blood and Fang
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
It took Heidi quite a long time to figure out what had happened.
She first touched her thigh which had already been cured and then looked Nightingale up and down. After that, she finally turned her gaze to Roland and asked, "Your Majesty, did you cure me?"
"Yes, otherwise you'll make Nightfall exhausted," Roland replied. He then found a chair and seated himself in front of the jail, asking, "Tell me, where did you send the witches rejected by you?"
"That's... what Iffy told you?"
"Yes, the witch named Annie was her friend."
Instead of directly answering Roland's question, Heidi clenched her teeth. At the moment, Roland saw the hatred in her eyes.
"You could have given them a shelter. Archduke Island is the domain of Archduke Morgan and you're his successor. It's impossible that you can't even afford a dozen of assistant witches. Even though all you needed to do at the time was to offer them some gruel a day, you still chose to abandon them. You thought they were useless, but, in fact, assistant witches are far more powerful than you can imagine. The gun Andrea used to hurt you is a weapon made by assistant witches and ordinary people. It's very easy to operate. Even a farmer who's worked in the fields for all his life can easily use it to kill an experienced knight," Roland said.
Hearing that, Heidi's face changed. She lifted up her head promptly, asking, "What did you say? Even ordinary people can use it?"
"Do you still believe I totally depend on the witches to capture the king's city and become King of Graycastle?" Roland leaned back in his chair and added, "If they had such a strong power, they wouldn't have been suppressed by the church and the secular lords."
"So... how did they make the weapon?"
Roland coldly stared at Heidi until she realized that she had asked an inappropriate question just now. After that, he mocked. "What? Do you think we're talking at a palace banquet?"
Heidi swallowed hard and said, "This lady beside you is..."
"Nightingale. She works for me, not for Tilly. I want to ask you again. Where did you send the witches rejected by you?" Roland said in a deep voice.
"I let them go to find the other witch organizations. I've no idea of where they went. Some of they might return to the nearby towns and cities, and some might go to the Kingdom of Dawn..."
"You're lying. None of this is true." Nightingale suddenly broke in before she finished.
"No, Your Majesty. She knows nothing about me..."
"Save it, Heidi." Roland shook his head and continued, "Nightingale can tell truth from lies. You can't lie about anything in front of her. Now, you know why Tilly brought you from the Fjords to the Western Region. You'll be tried here and if you don't want to suffer, tell me what you did exactly. My patience is wearing thin."
In the dim firelight, the expression seemed uncertain on Heidi's face. Apparently, she did not expect that Nightingale had such an ability. After a moment of silence, Heidi grabbed the steel bars and shouted, "Your Majesty Wimbledon, the Kingdom of Wolfheart has been annexed by the church, the king has been lost and now I'm the only descendant of the Morgan royal family. If you help me regain my kingdom, I'll bring you countless profits! Gold royals, gems and... yes, witches! The Bloodfang Association will also be at your command!"
"Is this what you want to tell me at last?"
"I'll give you half of the Kingdom of Wolfheart! The land on the west of Blackstone Cliff will be yours!"
"Stop!" Roland interrupted impatiently. "I just want to know where the witches went!"
"What? My kingdom can't yet compare with those witches?" Heidi said in disbelief.
Roland was fed up with this and said, "Can't you understand me? The Kingdom of Wolfheart isn't yours and I've no interest in the land far away from me. Due to the basic manner of a noble, I'm here to ask you first, but I have many other methods to make you tell the truth. As for torture, I think you know more than me. It'll do you no good, so tell me what you did to those witches when I'm still here. Maybe, I'll spare your life."
Heidi took Roland's last sentence as a life-saving straw and confirmed. "Your Majesty... you'll really spare me?"
"I'm a man of actions."
Heidi lowered her head and said after a long hesitation, "I sent them to the nobles."
Roland's heart sank a little and then he asked, "Didn't you sell them to the nobles?"
"No, the whole thing is a trade-off." She took a deep breath and continued, "I could have never recruited enough witches for the Bloodfang Association if I had depended solely on the witches awakening on the Archduke Island. To attract more witches to come to me, I have to spread the name of the association throughout the Kingdom of Wolfheart."
"You could hire Rats to do the job for you. How come was this related to the nobles?" Roland asked. He had also tried to draw witches' attention via propaganda, but as Tilly started to spread the news earlier than him, he did not succeed in recruiting many witches.
"Rats themselves are manipulated by nobles. Besides, once the church had found out the secret of Archduke Island, I would have been in real trouble."
"So, you pay back with witches to the nobles?"
"Yes, I did this to ensure that the nobles and I were on the same boat. When they illegally kept witches, they would naturally notice the actions of the church and control the Rats properly. They would even deliberately divert the Holy City's attention from me. Only after making sure that the local lords were willing to accept witches, I would spread information in their domains. By doing so, I could minimize the risk," Heidi said in a low voice.
Roland did not have to ask to know what had happened next to those non-combat witches. They must have been locked in the dark rooms for the whole life, and most of them had died young when the magic power bit. Even for several lucky witches who made it to the adulthood, their fate had also been sealed. They must have been dead in the hands of the nobles who had used them just to sate their own lust or in the hands of the church who had forced the nobles to hand out the witches.
At the time, Heidi clearly sensed Nightingale's anger and impulsively moved backward, saying, "Your Majesty, you've promised!"
Roland stopped Nightingale with his arm outstretched and continued to ask, "Who did those things for you? Iffy said that you've never met Annie."
"Skyflare... she was killed by Ashes."
"Anyone else? Did the other witches of the Bloodfang Association know nothing about this?" Roland asked.
"Say it out!"
Roland secretly let out a sigh of relief and said, "The last question. What's the purpose of your Bloodfang Association to recruit combat witches everywhere?
After a short silence, Heidi said, "I just wanted to help my father seize the throne which should belong to him."
Heidi stopped, but Roland could easily guess what she was to say. After the death of Archduke Morgan, the Bloodfang Association had become Heidi Morgan's tool to fulfill her own desire for power.
Walking out of the basement, Nightingale hold Roland's hand in a sudden, asking, "Are you really going to spare the life of that murder?"
"Heidi Morgan is a witch of Sleeping Island. It's not appropriate for me to execute her. Tilly wanted me to help in finding out the truth. That's why she took Heidi to the Western Region."
"You mean..." Nightingale's eyes started to shine.
"As for whether Sleeping Island will spare her or not, that's not what I can decide," Roland said, spreading his hands.
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