Chapter 6: Training (Part I)

In the rear castle gardens stood a single cottage, surrounded by a wooden fence. The cottage was built out of clay bricks and the ground was filled with loess, a mixture of sand, silt and clay. There was also a pond in front of the cottage with a circumference of roughly nine and a half yards and with the pond filled with an appropriate amount of river water, this environment was not only difficult to burn but also had a certain manufactured feel, it seemed to be taken right out of a dream. Piled atop the ground were several iron ingots, these came from the blacksmith and were placed there by Carter.

The pond was very charming, Roland had immediately taken a fancy to this place, but as for a laboratory, this place was still too crude. Roland shook his head, realizing that using some random materials and having them build a perfect lab was not possible. If he could find a suitable place in the future and collected all the resources, he would get Barov to start making him a workshop.

Calling Anna over, who had been resting in the cottage, Roland asked, “How are you? Did you sleep well?”

Looking at the bewildered Anna who emerged, Roland smiled.

The witch Roland saw now and the witch he saw yesterday looked like two completely different people. After a thorough cleaning, her long flaxen hair draped over her shoulders like a shawl and had a soft and shiny luster. Although her skin hadn’t been maintained due to her rough life as a commoner her youth made up for it, and the light dusting of freckles which were on the bridge of her nose added a youthful vitality to her face. Her body was still thin and looked as if a strong breeze could push her down, but her cheeks with a rosy color and the bruises and marks on her neck were much faded from yesterday. Roland suspected that witches received an improvement of their physical capabilities in addition to their magic.  At least Anna’s recovery rate had to be much faster than the average person’s.

“Originally, since you experienced so many terrible things, you should be allowed to rest a few days, however our need at this time is very urgent, so I’ll compensate you later,” Roland said before telling the girl to turn around in a circle. “This dress, does it fit well?”

Anna now wore clothes he had carefully selected from a variety of styles, all in order to satisfy his lewd tastes. The full protective clothing that the iron workers wore was too thick and not suitable for her, while the robes many mages wore in games appeared to be elegant and classy, in real life they restricted the mobility of the wearer and would quickly be turned to ashes. As for maid dresses, hey, is there any better clothing than this?

Even if this world had no modern maid outfits yet it was not a big problem, the usual maid clothes were what the later generations were based on after all. So Roland directly took a set of clothes from Tyre and cut it to Anna’s size, shortened the skirt, changed the long sleeves to short sleeves, made the the round neck collar become folded and then tied it into a bow, thereby creating the new witch uniforms.

This was matched with a witch hat (customized), black boots (ready), as well as a knee length cape (ordered). In the past, Roland could only see this type of costume in a movie, but right now, one stood in front of him, looking so much like a witch from earth lore.

“Your Highness, you … What do I need to do for you?” Anna asked.

Anna really could not keep up with the ideas of the great man in front of her, she felt that she was losing her ability to judge the situation. Being dragged out of the dungeon with a bag over her head, she believed she would soon be liberated of her cursed life. But after taking off the headgear, Anna found herself not seeing the gallows or the guillotine, but a magnificent room. Then a bunch of people flooded in, undressing and bathing her. From her armpits to toes, nothing was left unpolished.

Next, it was the dressing room, Anna did not expect that she would have needed all these dresses to serve someone. She also never knew that clothes could actually be so comfortable, as they laid gently on her body, it was possible to feel the slightest friction.

Finally, a white-bearded old man had entered the room, and after he ordered everyone else to step out, he had placed a contract in front of her. At this moment Anna realized, the man who had had said he wanted to hire her in the dungeon was actually this kingdoms 4th Prince. When he said he wanted to employ her, it was not a joke. The contract clearly stated that if she worked for the prince, she would be paid a gold royal every month.

Of course, Anna knew what receiving a gold royal a month meant, her father, who had worked in the mine all day, had had his pay determined by the amount of ore he was able to mine, but the best haul he ever had was only worth one silver royal. One hundred silver royals could be converted to a gold royal, and even this depended on the purity of the silver royals. So, was her job to accompany the prince while sleeping? When she was bathing, Anna had heard the maids whispering, but she didn’t think she was worth this price. With her blood tainted by the devil, she was a person full of filthiness. After she was exposed everyone knew her real identity, even if the prince’s curiosity was compelling to this extent, even if he did not fear the devil, he did not need to pay her any remuneration at all.

That night, however, no one came, and she fell asleep peacefully. It was the softest bed Anna had ever slept in, so she just laid down and immediately fell asleep. The next day when she opened her eyes it was already noon, lunch had already been served in her room, delivered were bread with cheese and meats. Before, she had obviously been ready to die. She had even decided to willingly give up her life to atone for her “sins.” Those were her original thoughts, but after tasting the luxurious meal, Anna could not help it, tears started running down.

Sauces and seasonings were mixed within her mouth, a strong hint of a spicy flavour mingled with a sweet taste, attacking, again and again, her taste buds... Suddenly, she felt that the world was a little bit brighter.

Anna felt that if she could eat this food every day, then even if demons attacked her body, she would have more courage to resist, right?

Now standing in this garden which resembled an old temple, nothing like her prison cell, Anna secretly made up her mind. Since the other party needed her, so whether it was to wear strange clothes, or even using the incredible devil’s power, she was willing to try. So she repeated her question, but this time, she did not hesitate.

“Your Highness, what do you need me for?”

“Right now, I want you to learn to control your own strength, try it over and over until you can send out your flames and receive them back freely.”

“You mean the devil’s-”

“No, no, Miss Anna,” Roland interrupted her, “this is your power.” The witch blinked with her eyes, her beautiful, big blue eyes.

“Most people in the world have the misconception that the powers of the witches belong to the devil, that they are incredibly evil, when, in fact, they are wrong,” Roland bent his body down and met her eyes with his own on an equal level. “But you already figured that out, right?”

Roland remembered Anna’s chuckle in the dungeon, would a person who felt they were evil have laughed with such self-mockery?

“I did not use my power to hurt anyone else,” she murmured, “Except for that looter.”

“Self-defence is not a sin, you did the right thing. People fear you because they do not understand you, they only know that with training witches can become strong fighters, but they do not know how to become a witch. Unknown power is always scary. “

“You’re not afraid,” Anna said.

“Because I know your power belongs to you,” Roland laughed, “but if that looter had such an incredible strength, I wouldn’t calmly stand in front of him.”

“Well, let’s get started,” he said.