Release that Witch - Chapter 399

Published at 1st of September 2017 02:31:27 PM

Chapter 399

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In the basement of the palace, King's City, Kingdom of Graycastle.

Timothy sat on the throne with his cheek resting on his right hand. He watched impatiently as the candidates performed their assassination stunts.
"How many fools have I watched since winter begin?
I must have been too lenient recently, to have allowed these clowns to perform."
He sneezed and felt the dryness in his eyes.
Ever since the Hall of Sky Dome was destroyed by snow powder, Timothy had moved the venue of the Council Meeting to the basement of the palace. After some renovation, including opening up several storage chambers, the total space was large enough to accommodate all of the Council's ministers and nobles. Most importantly, this place was absolutely safe. There was only one entrance, and the magnificent palace was directly above. No amount of snow powder could disrupt matters in here. The only disadvantage was the lack of sunlight, and thus light had to be supplied using turpentine torches. The torches, which were placed on the surrounding walls, caused the air in the room to become abnormally dry and stuffy. Furthermore, the turpentine gave off a sweet yet foul smell which made Timothy feel drowsy.
Whenever he thought about his Fourth Brother, Timothy would become furious and spiteful. Had it not been for the eyewitnesses who noticed that the attacks came from the sky, Timothy would probably still be building guard towers recklessly. After he realized that this method was completely ineffective, all he could do was to hold his meetings in this place for the time being.
"Roland Wimbledon will surely pay for this!"
"Your Highness." The voice of a candidate disrupted his thoughts. "Have a look. If that traitor Roland ever dares to appear in front of me, I'll accomplish the mission that you've entrusted to me!"

Timothy took a swift glance at the candidate. In a split second, the candidate landed four flying knives accurately on a barrel that was twenty steps away.
"Is this the stunt that you mentioned?"
"Indeed, Your Highness," he replied assuredly. "Frankly speaking, I was in this line of business previously. I've killed dozens of Rats using this method. If I hide in a crowd, most of my targets won't even know where the knives are flying out from."
"How much do you want?" Timothy shifted his stiff body a little.
"Just 25 gold royals," the candidate counted his fingers and said, "five of which will be used to cover the cost of my journey and my disguise—I'll dress in a common and unattractive fashion in order to get closer to the traitor."
"Knight Weimar." The King beckoned.
"Yes, Your Highness." Steelheart Knight walked into the hall, brandishing his saber and shield.
"Your Highness, what do you mean by this?" The candidate was startled.

"If you defeat my knight, I'll give you your reward straight away." Timothy winked at Knight Weimar.
The latter nodded his head. Then, he took off his head armor and walked towards the candidate.
"Wait, wait... no, Your Highness, this won't do." The candidate flipped his body distressedly to dodge the knight's incoming slashes, and stammered, "I can't fight head on! Ah!"
The knight swiftly followed up with a vicious kick to his stomach, causing him to swallow the rest of his words.
After rolling on the floor for a while, the candidate flimsily flung a flying knife at the knight, but it was easily deflected by the knight's shield. The knight stomped on the candidate's hand and, using his sword, sliced off half of the candidate's arm. Blood spilled on to the ground in a curved line.
"My hand...!" the candidate cried in pain. He held onto the remainder of his right arm and coiled his body.
"Firstly, the royal family isn't as dumb as your average target. Even that foolish brother of mine won't easily go near crowds. And secondly, if you can't even handle a knight, what makes you think you're able to assassinate a lord who's protected by many knights? I'm afraid that once you receive the 25 gold royals, you'll never be seen again." Timothy gestured with his hands. "Throw him out."
Had it been a month or two ago, he would not even entertain this bunch of ignorant and greedy people. He had given a small sum of money to those whom he deemed to have a slight chance of succeeding—yet until now, Roland was still alive and kicking.

It was probably because of this 'benevolent' attitude that caused more and more people to come forward and declare that they could solve the problems created by the traitor, and the methods they proposed became increasingly absurd. There was even a fella who suggested using a tavern maid as the assassin, claiming that her technique was outstanding and that no man could refuse her service. "Utter ignorance! Don't they know the difference between a normal female and a witch?" It was already well-publicized that Roland had raised and groomed several witches, so there was zero chance that Roland would fall for someone so cheap.
Timothy let out a long sigh. "By teaching these ignorant candidates a lesson, perhaps others will think twice about coming forth.
Maybe it was a mistake to recruit an assassin from the citizenry.
The only things that could defeat Roland are pills and snow powder."
He swept a glance around the hall, and, seeing that there were no outsiders remaining, he asked the Prime Minister, "How's the progress of the development of the snow powder weapon?"
According to successive intelligence gathered from Longsong Stronghold, the reason that Border Town miners were able to defeat the Duke's knights and the mad militia was because they used an unusual snow powder weapon. It was, in all likelihood, a semi-closed iron pipe which made use of the force generated by the explosion of snow powder to propel a lead shot towards the target, similar to how a crossbow worked. Timothy was highly interested in this, and had immediately gathered the experienced blacksmiths of King's City to begin creating an imitation of this unique weapon.
"Not ideal, Your Highness." Marquis Wyke shook his head. "The blacksmiths have created 10 or so prototypes of this weapon in accordance with the intelligence, but none of them have anywhere close to the alleged firepower. Only a few can penetrate a knight's breastplate within 10 steps, while all are inaccurate over 50 steps."
"10 steps?" Timothy frowned. "Might as well aim at the face, no? At this rate, how are we going to stop the charging knights?"

"Indeed, there may be some tricks we have yet to master... Another thing, even if we gather all of the city's blacksmiths and apprentices, we can at most produce 20 of these weapons per month, and there's no guarantee that every one of them will work." The Marquis sighed. "Until today, there have been four cases of iron pipes exploding during training, and the guards are rather reluctant about training with this kind of snow powder weapon."
Damn it. Border Town was several times poorer than King's City, yet Roland was able to produce hundreds of iron pipes in one winter. He must have received the assistance of demons.
Timothy angrily switched the topic. "How about the pills? Hasn't the church replied to us yet?"
"Yes, Your Highness." The Marquis responded. "The High Priest said that Holy City was busy fighting the invasion of the demonic beasts, and therefore temporarily unable to provide more pills of madness. He hoped that we could wait until after the Months of Demons to discuss things."
"I don't want to see the traitor remain peacefully in the castle of Western Region, not even one day longer!"
"Looks like I have to personally write a letter to the Holy City of Hermes," Timothy thought spitefully. "In the future, if they want to continue recruiting believers in the Kingdom of Graycastle, they'll have to bring pills for exchange."
Just as he was about to announce the end of the day's Council Meeting, the Minister for Diplomacy, Sir Bullet, suddenly walked up to him and said, "Your Highness, messengers from the Kingdom of Dawn have arrived in King's City, and they wish to see you."