Chapter 900: The Witches From Afar (Part II)
Translator: TransN Editor: TransN
“Is this really alright?” Wendy said quietly as she pointed to the ordinary people on the dock. “I mean, we hired random people to greet the witches from Sleeping Island… If the witches knew the truth, they surely wouldn’t be pleased about it.”
“Are you able to find any residents who truly welcome their arrival?” Scroll asked in an equally low voice.
“… No.” Wendy hesitated for a moment and shook her head. Indeed, it was hard to find even one or two residents who would welcome the witches from the bottom of their heart, let alone a group of them. Although citizens in Neverwinter had gradually started to accept the witches under Roland’s influences, and some witches were even adored by the public, the immigrants from Sleeping Islands were strangers to them. It was basically impossible to ask people to stop their work and greet a group of witches they had never met.
Without Kind Roland’s presence, only the families of the First Army could be persuaded to do so.
“Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with His Majesty’s arrangement.” Scroll shrugged. “All the expenses incurred in this welcoming has already been included in Neverwinter’s budget, including the expenses for those big red bouquets, banners, and family greeting teams. If you don’t use that part of the money, the other departments will. His Majesty originally planned to have the welcome reception on a much bigger scale than this.”
“Well, you might be right…” Wendy swiped at the non-existent sweat on her forehead. His Majesty had been extremely excited ever since Princess Tilly had told him that the witches on Sleeping Island were coming here. Apart from what Scroll had just mentioned, Roland had also listed many other welcome events on his memo, such as ceremonial parades, a musical, and fireworks. Had the news from Hill Fawkes not prompted Roland to carry out his war plan immediately, Roland would have hosted the ceremony himself, which undoubtedly would have made things even more jubilant and spectacular.
Scroll said smilingly, “That’s why directly hiring people is the best option. We don’t just recruit random guys. Those selected ones are all families with good city hall records. You don’t need to worry.” She took a short pause and continued, “The witches are coming. Go meet them, Ms. chief of the Union.”
“Scroll!” Wendy raised her voice, looking at the former reproachfully. Then she gave Princess Tilly a curt nod before walking up to the guests who came here all the way from the island.
“Nice to meet you!” As the two groups of witches met each other, Wendy opened her arms and greeted them with her most gentle voice while smiling. “I’m the superintendent of the Witch Union. Welcome to Neverwinter!”
According to the agreement, the witches from Sleeping Island were only considered as ordinary subjects of the Western Region and would not be under the management of the Witch Union. As such, Wendy decided to take them to the residential area first and have a rough head count so that the City Hall would know how much food to provide to the new group of witches. As for the subsequent tour and work schedules, she planned to discuss that with Lady Tilly only after everybody settled down.
The construction of the residential area exclusively for the use of the witches from Sleeping Island had been completed two months before their arrival. It was located close to the Miracle Building and was named Sleeping Spell, the same name used by the Bounty Guild.
Some of the witches gasped at the sight of the “magnificent building” which was now six stories’ high.
They were especially impressed with the polished and glossy surface of the concrete.
“Are these real stones? Why do they look so smooth?”
“We’re not going to be staying here, are we?”
“Stop dreaming. This must be the Lord’s castle.”
“The view from the top floor must be breathtaking.”
Seeing everyone was burning with curiosity, Wendy took this opportunity to make a brief introduction. “The building is only half-complete at the moment. Once the construction is done, it will reach 55 meters, which is 180 feet and 5 inches. But His Majesty doesn’t live here. His castle is only three stories’ tall and is located in the center of Neverwinter.”
“That’s so tall… Aren’t you afraid that it’ll collapse one day?” someone questioned in surprise.
Wendy smiled. “His Majesty invented a special construction material that can convert fluid slimes to solid stones. This is simply a pilot project. He told us that we will be able to build architecture as tall as the mountains with this type of material. Of course, the whole project cannot be successfully completed without the help of the witches. In fact, this building is the result of the joint efforts of the witches and numerous construction workers. Am I right, Lotus?”
“Hey, did you really build this?”
“But isn’t your ability elevating earth?”
All the witches rested their eyes on Lotus.
A little embarrassed, Lotus scratched her head and answered, “I just build slopes for the workers. When they need to add another floor, I elevate the surrounding earth to create a platform next to the building to make it a bit more convenient for the construction workers.”
“Did… they hate or show disgust at you because you’re a witch?” As expected, someone raised the question that everybody was most concerned about.
“I haven’t come across anyone like that yet. I think they’ve already started to treat me like a normal person.” Lotus waved her hand. “Sometimes, the workers will even share pancakes with me if I went to work early.”
This was the exact effect Wendy desired to achieve. “Perhaps a lot of you are still cautious of the people here and wonder how you’ll be treated in the future. That’s perfectly normal, after all, Neverwinter to you is a completely foreign city. I don’t think I have to go on about the miseries that had fallen upon us witches over this past century. However, I assure you that you’ll feel at home here, just like the city name endowed by His Majesty suggests. I understand that you aren’t a member of the Witch Union, but please don’t hesitate to ask me for help if you encounter any difficulties. No matter how small it seems to be, I’m here for you.”
“Good job.” Scrolled gave Wendy a thumbs-up and whispered to her approvingly.
Wendy did not expect, however, that the first problem arose when she tried to gather the personal information of the witches.
“Why do you need such information?” A red-haired witch protested after Wendy distributed the forms. “Didn’t you agree not to force us to stay here? I just plan to stay here for a couple of days, so I don’t think it’s necessary.”
“Me too. Princess Tilly told us that we could leave Neverwinter whenever we wanted to. I want to go back to the Eastern Region right now.”
“Since the church is gone now, I don’t think it’s necessary to disclose our personal information. It’ll put us in a very disadvantageous position if the information leaks to someone with malicious intent.”
There were quite a few witches who opposed to registering their personal information.
“I knew it… It’s Azima and her little clique again.” Ashes knitted her brows.
“Azima?” Wendy asked in surprise.
“A witch organization from the Eastern Region. Sorry, they don’t really acknowledge my leadership,” Tilly explained in a low voice. “But they’re at least much better than the Bloodfang Association.” Tilly turned to the red-haired witch and said, “I understand that you yearn to return to the Eastern Region, but this is not a good time. Although the church has fallen from power, the public is still unfriendly to witches, not to mention those nobles. The situation is particularly bad in the Eastern Region. Before Roland officially retrieves that area, the attitude of people toward witches would not change much over there.”
“How do you know that if you haven’t been there?” Azima persisted. “Or maybe you’re just favoring your brother?”
“Mind your attitude.” Ashes retorted coldly.
“Why? Are you going to pick a fight with me here, like you did to Heidi and Skyflare?”
Wendy bit her lip. She did not foresee such a bitter confrontation, but she could not find a proper way to ease the tension between the two parties.
Just at that moment, Scroll stepped forward.
“Mind if I ask you a few questions?” She asked.