Release that Witch - Chapter 397

Published at 31st of August 2017 02:31:20 PM

Chapter 397

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Hearing the news, Roland was shocked.

Rushing after Leaf he couldn't even attempt to question her further until they had reached the castle's backyard. As he stepped out of the castle he saw Lightening dragging two dead demons off of Maggie's back.
"Your Highness, look, we won!" Seeing the prince, the little girl jumped up straight into Roland's arms. "We defeated the demons!"
"No one is hurt?" Roland asked.
"No, everyone is fine." Lightning looked up, her eyes sparkling with eagerness and hopes of praise. Her metaphorical tail wagging was with excitement.
Roland sighed. Seeing her look of sheer joy made him reluctant to point fingers. So, instead of asking why no one had reported seeing the demons he decided to say, "I am glad there are no injuries, but what just happened exactly?"
The three witches all replied at once. Roland had to listen for a long while before he was able to piece together what had happened.
The way they told it made the fight seem easy and it was over quickly. However, there were many moments that could have ended in disaster. If Maggie had not been able to withstand the impact of the electric arc, or if the demons had been able to shake off Leaf's restraints, the consequences would have been unthinkable.
"Don't you ever do anything like that again." Nightingale couldn't keep quiet any longer. Stepping from the cloak of her mist as she said, "To fight with demons is to leave us. With Sylvie, there is no escape."

"But we won," Lightning said while pouting.
"I call it dumb luck. Before the fight did you know Maggie was going to be hit?" Nightingale countered sternly, "I taught you to use a gun so you could protect your sisters and self. Instead, you drag them into danger!"
"No..." Lightning dropped her head in contrition and said, "I was wrong."
"And you," Nightingale said turning to Maggie, "You know you are obligated to fly back and report and yet you chose to stay? If you make a mistake like this again I won't give you anymore dried fish!"
"Sigh..." Maggie's head drooped, too.
'Nightingale is indeed the toughest witch fighter Border Town has to offer,' Roland thought, giving Nightingale a glance of approval. Then he said, "Well, as long as it was just this once. Go and bring Tilly and Agatha to me. It's time for us to examine our new trophies."
In the castle's basement, on the cold stone floor lay two bodies stripped bare, their shabby clothes and meager belongings stacked beside them.

"Are they demons?" Tilly inquired while covering her nose, hoping to block the fetid stench.
"They don't look stronger than ordinary people," Ashes said, twitching her mouth.
Agatha looked glum. "Don't underestimate them. Any demon is a tough opponent, with or without magic powers. A senior demon or even a Transcendent would wear a God's Stone of Retaliation," she stated frowning. Looking over at Roland she then said. "They really showed up near the town?"
"Pretty much, Leaf said they were less than two miles from the town's city walls." Roland nodded his response while looking at the bodies displayed before him.
The demon bodies were tall, over six feet, they had stong powerful limbs, and their skin was a shade of light blue. One of the bodies appeared to be severly mutilated and the organs could be seen peeking from its collapsed chest. It looked almost as if it had been crushed by a steam roller. This in combination with Lightening's narrative, Roland could almost see the great impact that had caused the damage.
The other body was in better shape and the only visible damage was two puncture wounds. He could still see the demons blue blood trickling from the perfect holes. Of the four shots Lightening took, only two had hit their mark, fortunately they were fatal.
The blue blood makes sense since demons don't need oxygen like humans, they have no need for hemoglobin. Technically a demons blood could be any color.
And their massive bone structure was also logical. It was necessary to support their height and powerful frame.

What is confusing is their striking resemblance to humans, minus the reproductive organs.
"How do they... reproduce with their own kind?" Roland asked Agatha curiously, "Don't they have gender differences?"
"To my knowledge, no, they don't," she said shaking her head. "It has been an unsolved mystery for me. No one can get close enough to Red Mist tower to find out. There is speculation that they were born in the tower, formed by the mist. However, the Quest Society rejected the notion claiming that the demons were regenerating and every battle was with the same demons, in different forms. They called it the 'regeneration upgrade phenomenon'."
"Regeneration upgrade phenomenon?" Ashes frowned and asked, "what is that?"
"Some of the demons that were severely wounded by our witches would again appear on the battlefield. Based on the pattern of the wounds, we could tell they were the ones that had been beaten previously even though their forms had changed. This implies that Senior Demons were not born but instead likely evolved through battle. Once they reach their full upgrade their forms would change." Agatha explained.
'Well... the magic stone technology by itself is worrying enough, and now the enemy seems to have the ability to upgrade from battle. No wonder they defeated the human beings in the last two Battles of the Divine Will.'
Roland squatted down to have a closer look at the demons' stacked clothing and belongings.
Fortunately, it did not look as if they had anything that could be considered advanced. Their belongings actually looked a little out dated. The clothing was a mix of animal skins and ugly primitive weaves. The ferocious masks were actual skulls from demonic hybrids, clearly not manufactured.

Even the transparent portion embedded into the eyes of the skulls were no more than a polished crystal, tinged and clouded from the Red Mist. While wearing the masks, they would only be able to see a bloody red shadow. How did they learn to fight with something like this?
In addition to the clothes and masks, there were a dozen black slates and a few magic stones.'
"Has the Quest Society ever seen anything like this?" Roland asked Agatha as he laid out the slates, side by side, they made him think of the towering buildings in the red mist. A few of the slates had distorted red marking, while others had nothing you could see with the naked eye.
"That's the way demons keep records," she nodded while answering, "and they record with magic too, so we can't decode their meaning at all."
"Maybe the way they think is completely different," Tilly suggested.
"That's a possibility," Rolland agreed, "and what about the magic stones?"
"Stones of Perception, Stones of Pathfinding... and Stones of Marking," Agatha answered while glancing over them, "Nothing precious. They are only basic equipment for Scout Devils."
'Scout Devil...' Roland felt a dull pain in his head as he asked Agatha, "Does it mean that the demons have already noticed this place, and have started to send their scouts to the town?"