Release that Witch - Chapter 729: Recasting the Broken Sword
Wendy unrolled the contracts on the desk and said to the witches from Wolfheart happily, “sign after you read the pledge on the back of the contract and then you’ll officially become a member of the union.”
They should have gone through this procedure earlier had Princess Tilly not suggested a hunting contest. Wendy did not care about who the winner would be, but she had been concerned about whether all the preparation work for the hunting had been completed. On the very day of the contest, she had been restless. Every minute had been torturing for her. Due to her concerns, she complained to His Majesty for quite a while and the subsequent cannon exercise further postponed the matter. To her surprise, however, Annie, who was always the more self-controlled one, ventured to see her first.
“Wendy, don’t you usually test our abilities first?” Amy asked.
In the ten days after their group had arrived in Neverwinter, this airy, dainty little girl had won everybody’s affections. Due to her innocent character, Amy soon established bonds with the other witches. She now felt very comfortable calling Wendy “sister”.
“We normally test your ability after you sign the contract,” Wendy answered in a soft voice. “If you have any questions or concerns regarding the terms of the contract, please don’t hesitate to ask me now.”
Out of the four witches from Wolfheart, Amy was the only literate one. So Annie, Broken Sword, and Hero all sat around her to listen to the terms while exchanging their thoughts on the matter.
Wendy studied the murmuring witches attentively. She recalled the day when she had signed her contract.
At first, she had thought the terms were a little too generous to be true and they were very likely just an empty promise through which the Prince showcased his benevolence. The terms would probably be changed completely shortly afterward, or there would be another set of implied rules that actually regulated the witches’ activities. But as she soon discovered, she had been totally wrong as the basic frame of the contract had gone through very few modifications in the past two years. Thinking back on it, Wendy believed that she had made the greatest decision in her entire life.
“Wow, one gold royal for us each month!”
“Can we buy whatever we want?”
“A paid vacation… Is it true?”
“Witches are entitled to terminate the contract in the event that His Majesty fails to fulfill his obligations to provide safety, food or accommodations… Is this really not a lie?”
Wendy answered all their questions with a smile as they asked the questions that she had done so herself. She pretty much knew exactly when the four witches would utter an exclamation of surprise as she had been equally astonished by the contract when reading it for the first time.
In granting the witches freedom and acknowledgment, His Majesty had given them what they desired most and the fate of the Witch Union had been intertwined with that of Roland Wimbledon’s ever since. Wendy believed nobody in the union would ever abandon His Majesty, even in the event of a crisis in which Roland could no longer shelter or support them.
Such a bond was not explicitly expressed in the contract, but was much stronger than any plain words or language could describe.
However, she could also foresee that these thoughts and feelings of contentment would gradually diminish as newly awakened witches would have a completely different living environment. It would be a time where there was no threat from the church and no hostility from their relatives or their close family members. With that being the case, new witches would naturally feel less grateful for the new life than old witches did.
Following the terms came the pledge and the signature line.
There were no mandatory rules of any kind in the pledge. That part only stated that Roland and the Witch Union should act with honor and utmost good faith as it was totally voluntary to join the union. After the four witches read and signed the contract, Nightingale pinched Wendy to confirm to her that they had signed it with a genuine intention.
“Now, we’re sisters.” She hugged everyone happily.
The Witch Union now had four more members.
The ability test location was outside the Witch House and could be found at Leaf’s “Yard Forest.”
Annie was the first to take the test and Wendy had learned a lot about her ability beforehand from Amy. Although Annie could increase the temperature, she could not create fire like Anna as only her palms turned warm. During the earlier stages after Annie had awakened, the best she could do was making an object as warm as a torch. After entering her adulthood and her ability had consolidated, she could heat up ironware until it glowed red. In addition to ironware, she could also melt lead and bronze.
During the entire process, Annie looked upset. Wendy could tell that she did not have much confidence in her ability. Wendy fully understood why she felt this way because Annie had once been rejected by the Bloodfang Association. In fact, Wendy had seen many witches like Annie who seemed to only have “useless” abilities. For example, Mystery Moon and Echo were once deemed “useless”. Yet no matter how stupid their abilities appeared to be, they all eventually found a suitable position in Neverwinter and put their abilities to good use.
“A great ability.” Wendy encouraged her. “The machining plant in the industrial zone would love to have you.”
“Re…really?” Annie replied in surprise, “Even if I can only warm up my own palms?”
“Of course, and on top of that, the furnace area and chemistry lab would also be glad to have you. You’ll certainly become a busy woman in the future.” Wendy wrote down several advisable positions on the notebook. As far as ability assessment was concerned, King Roland had a better insight into each witch’s ability. Wendy knew she was not the perfect person to do the evaluation and often recorded her thoughts and ask His Majesty to review them. In this way, she could, little by little, improve herself and thus do a better job in the future.
Her ability was not as powerful as most sisters and her grades were not the best either, and yet His Majesty entrusted the Witch Union to her. She dreaded failing him.
Annie stepped aside, looking doubtful. The second one to take the test was Amy.
Wendy felt reluctant to conduct a full assessment of her ability because Amy actually had to hurt herself in order to showcase her power even though self-healing sounded very appealing. The only good thing about Amy’s ability was that Amy did not need to worry about the negative impact of magic power bite as she constantly received minor injuries and used her power all the time.
After a brief interview, Wendy noted down the position of a healer. It appeared that Amy’s ability could only be used for healing.
The same applied to the third witch, Hero.
Since she could only transfer diseases rather than offer treatment, the only place she could work at seemed to be the hospital. Wendy remembered that the so-called plague was caused by microscopic creatures and thought that Hero could potentially help Lily conduct research on microbiology. With this in mind, Wendy marked Hero’s name with a circle. She believed once Hero received universal education and gained a basic understanding of Natural Science Theoretical Foundation, her ability might experience some changes.
The last one was Broken Sword.
Unlike the previous three witches, the silver-haired witch had never shown her ability to Yorko or Phyllis. With this being the case, Wendy had never heard anything about her power.
“You can go ahead now.” She nodded toward Broken Sword.
Broken Sword took a deep breath and closed her eyes. As she summoned her magic power, her body started to glow and radiate. Soon she was surrounded by a blinding, flaring light.
Wendy squinted her eyes and stepped back a few paces. Judging from Broken Sword’s performance, Wendy judged that she was stronger than any of the other witches from Wolfheart.
When the light dissipated, Wendy gasped. She could not believe her eyes.
The silver-haired witch had vanished into the thin air. In the snow, where her feet had just been, stood a strange-looking sword.