Unwanted Return – Part 01

Translator: Kell

Interlude: Witch and Demon

Beneath a clear, blue sky, the fragrance of lush greenery drifted in the summer air. Two witches were sitting under a shade, away from the scorching rays of the sun.

“I think witches are too solitary,” her old friend said out of the blue. “We need to bond together more.”

Languidly the witch shook her head. “What good will bonds do?”

“We can improve ourselves. You and I have learned together, and we have improved together. But look at the witches around us. They have been wandering the same place in solitude for years, searching for an answer they can get by simply asking around. What could be more wasteful than that?”

Like many others, they were abandoned children taken in by witches. Not out of love, no. Witches did not take in orphans because of love, but for the sake of preserving the community and acquiring workers. Growing up in a community of witches, everyone naturally learned Sorcery.

That was how they became witches—as a natural process, similar to a baby imitating the adults around it.

“Let us take the research that the witches of the cellar have been working on for years as an example,” her friend continued. “Another witch’s lair about three days’ walk away had already found the answer ten years ago. If there had been interaction between the two lairs ten years ago, they would not have wasted so much time. The witches of the cellar could have spent their resources on more useful research.”

“You raise a good point,” the witch replied.

“It’s not just witches, either. In a village I visited the other day, the villagers had horses pulling their carts. They called it a carriage. How incredible is that?! Ordinary humans who have not studied Sorcery tamed an animal to use for mobility. It was like using a familiar.”

Compared to other witches, her friend was very energetic. She would disappear from the lair one day then suddenly appear like she did today, her eyes bright, and proceed to ramble on about the things she had seen and heard outside.

“Joining hands with them will lead to a better future for witches. If ordinary humans and witches could work together to improve society, the world would become a better place. Unfortunately, witches have been too cruel to humans to this day. They will not accept witches easily.”

“Indeed. One can imagine the backlash.”

“So I came up with an idea! We create a church!”

Whenever she talked with her friend, the witch sometimes felt like a helpless fool. For a while, she tried to understand the meaning of the unfamiliar word, but she could only guess that it was a congregation that spread some sort of teachings.

“What is a church?” she asked finally.

Her friend’s eyes grew brighter. Too bright, in fact, that the witch squinted as if she were looking up at the sun.

“A group of white witches who would never torment humans. We teach and spread the knowledge we have gained through years of research. When people hear the word witch, they get scared, so I came up with a new name.”

Her friend’s ideas always surprised her, and the witch liked to be surprised. She loved the shock that her friend brought to her old-fashioned mind trapped by stereotypical views.

“So, do you have a plan?”

Her friend jumped to her neck. “So you’re going to help me?! I love how discerning you are!”

The sweet fragrance of flowers that her friend always had around her filled the witch’s chest. They both used the same herbs, so she should smell the same, but somehow the scent that her friend gave off felt special.

The witch decided that it was because her friend was special. And she too wished to become someone as special as her.

The two gifted witches steadily expanded the Church.

Since her friend’s energetic personality and gentle demeanor did not give the negative impression that existing witches had, she took the front stage, while the witch, with her spine-chilling beauty, worked behind the curtains.

For the Church to prosper, the witch decided to keep her distance from her friend. Her friend then summoned the soul of the mightiest beast to a trusted person to serve as a messenger between the two.

It was the most beautiful and strongest beast warrior that anyone had ever seen, with royal fur of white and gray. He was their most trusted warrior, possessing a one-of-a-kind soul once long lost in the annals of history.

They spent their time apart, but they never forgot their respect for each other, not even for a moment. When the witch heard that her friend was pregnant, she was overcome with emotion. She hoped to see the child one day.

Then suddenly the messages stopped coming. The witch panicked, but she did not go see her friend. She knew that would be a foolish move. The relationship between the Church and witches was not going as well as they had hoped. The witch surmised that her friend was too busy making difficult decisions. So she waited quietly.

But not long after, a massive witch hunt was launched and white witches who did not have the power to fight were burned at the stake.

“Impossible!” The witch was horrified.

It could not have been the work of her friend. She would not betray her allies. The witch left the cellar in search of her friend, with whom she had lost contact.

She then learned of the humans’ grave betrayal. The seven Bishops had imprisoned the Prophet, her friend, and started a witch hunt.

The witch was enraged. Furious. To save her friend, she waged a war against the Church. She created countless beast warriors and ordered them to kill the humans.

And the rest was history. Unable to save her friend, the witch was defeated, and her kind were labeled as evil.

With the whereabouts of the white beast warrior, her only connection with her friend, unknown, the witch, grieving in solitude, sought power. She wanted a witch powerful enough to change the world, someone who could make the world that she and her friend dreamed of a reality. It didn’t have to be her.

Then one day a demon spoke to the witch. The Nameless Demon King, an entity that had never been summoned by any witch.

Sorcery was given to man by demons. They spoke to people in their dreams, tricking them into summoning them so they could wreak havoc. Eventually the people learned how to suppress and use the power of the summoned demons. The whole process was eventually called Sorcery.

“I cannot bestow upon you power,” the demon said. “But I can give you a child who possesses wisdom beyond human understanding.”

The witch agreed to the horrific contract that the devil offered. She would bear the demon two children, one of which she would offer to it.

Zero and Thirteenth.

After raising Zero, the demon suddenly left her in the cellar one day. The first person to notice her superior intelligence was Thirteenth, who also had the same demon blood in his veins. Thirteenth worked hard to develop Zero’s gifts, and the two grew up trying to surpass the other.

Then one day, Zero completed the Grimoire of Zero. The witch’s heart trembled as she imagined a future that Magic would bring.

Carefully, she crafted her plan. Everyone’s actions had to be done voluntarily. In order to make the most of Zero’s and Thirteenth’s wisdom, the master had to be removed from the picture.

She played the role of a stubborn mentor, and when the impatient Thirteenth gave up on the cellar, her plan was set in motion.

With demons flooding the world, the Church and witches were now trying to join forces to defeat their common enemy.

Yes. A common enemy was what they needed more than anything.

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