Chapter 9: Intermission – King, Former General, and Witch II
The first thing that caught their attention was the woman’s straight, amethyst-colored hair. Her tan and seductive limbs would make any man desire her, and her body was draped in clothes befitting a dancer. There was a mole underneath her scarlet right eye and a fearless light glittering in her golden left eye.
“Why is the ‘Witch’ here?”
“Don’t call me the Witch. I’m the nameless Information Broker now, okay? Anyway, I have some business with Soleil.”
The woman called Witch grinned.
“Your child is hi~larious! I like him!”
The woman cackled. Soleil could only let out a strained laugh at her behavior.
The woman’s current appearance was that of a young woman, but she had lived longer than any human could ever imagine—a being who truly knew antiquity.
She was said to be an existence that stood on top of the beasts and monsters and outranked demons and archdemons. She was a being whose mana easily exceeded the human limit and who lived outside the realm of life and death—a dæmon. The few who knew of her called her the ‘Witch of Infinity.’
Currently, she had appeared in the king’s office, the room with the strictest security in the royal castle, in defiance of the castle’s barrier and guards and without being noticed by anyone. Furthermore, this room had its own barrier, completely isolating the inside from the outside. However, as a dæmon, she could easily utilize advanced magic to interfere with time and space.
The woman known as the Witch of Infinity used the surplus of mana she had to preview several futures. While this was the source of her information, what she sees might have an enormous impact on the world and as such, she was prevented from announcing it. She was not allowed to deliberately alter fate.
The only one who was allowed such were those chosen by that fate.
“What answer do you think that child gave to my question?”
The woman had asked the same question she had asked Herscherik, to multitudes of humans for many years.
Throughout history, these people could be divided into two types: those who flatly disbelieved her and those who sought specifically for her help and gave up.
But, Herscherik was different.
‘I’m in this world to save and protect those I care about.’
He… she had continued without losing a beat.
‘Choices do not exist for me. I will actualize all that I desire.’
By no means did this girl belittle the witch nor did she disbelieve her. She accepted the witch’s words and even declared that she wouldn’t yield and would obtain everything.
“He’s the second person to say that to me!”
This girl had a refreshing kind of greed. The girl made the witch recall the answer given to her long ago. It was a memory from a time so far past, she had to actively try to remember it. The one who gave her that answer was someone who then became known as a hero.
(I wonder about her though.)
It had been a while since she found an object worth observing. At first, she was planning on changing locations as this kingdom was getting dangerous, but it seems there was still some worth watching here.
“As such, Soleil, I shall grant you your wish.”
“Yes. From now on, I will not sell anyone any information about ‘Shadow Fang’ no matter how much they pay me.”
She owed Soleil a favor. To him, it was a trivial matter, but to the Witch of Infinity, it was a very large debt. She promised him that in the future, she would fulfill any wish of his as compensation, as long as it was within her ability.
Herscherik’s chief butler, Schwartz, was a formidable ex-spy. The things he’d done before becoming a butler were by no means praiseworthy. There were many who hated him, but he had only done this work on someone else’s behalf in return for compensation. If these folks were going to hate someone, he wished that they would direct it to the ones who commissioned him.
There were few people in his field who excelled like him, meaning that there were also many who desired him. Schwartz tried to erase any traces of himself, but he couldn’t find a way to silence the Information Broker.
That was when Soleil intervened. As Herscherik’s chief butler, Schwartz’s shortcoming would be Herscherik’s weakness.
That was why Soleil asked the Witch of Infinity to repay the favor. She came to him now to tell him her choice.
“I won’t go back on my word. Even if I was brought the wealth of an entire country, I will not break my promise. And…”
The woman smiled. This was the first time Soleil and Roland saw such an expressive look on her.
The witch only ecstatically laughed at their suspicious looks.
“I’m really taken by that child. Well then, I’m going back.”
With the sound of a bell, the woman literally disappeared from the area, almost as if she never been there in the first place.
“…His Highness Herscherik has it hard as well.”
Roland muttered. He pitied Herscherik for catching the attention of those idiosyncratic people.
Shadow Fang, his own son, the Witch of Infinity…
“Well, he’s the child between her and me.”
Soleil’s tone indicated that he was already resigned to his fate. His son had long reached a place his hand couldn’t reach. All he could do now was follow up on whatever he could.
“Ah, right. I bring a request from His Highness through my son.”
Roland recalled his original purpose coming here and reported to Soleil.
The Witch of Infinity… the Information Broker returned to her familiar abode and rested her body on her favorite sofa. It had been a while since she used such magic so it took quite a toll on her body. While feeling the fatigue, she thought of Herscherik.
(To think she brought her soul from another world…)
She had another power besides looking into the future. That was the power to see souls.
Normally, a soul would cycle in the world it was destined to. The number of cycles differed by world, but souls generally did not leave their destined world to reincarnate into another.
Herscherik’s soul was an anomaly in this world. To give an example, it was like black ink dripped on a white cloth. He was a very conspicuous existence, almost like a foreign object in this world. Normally, the world’s purification function would activate, forcibly expelling that soul back to its original world. However, not only did this girl bring her soul to this world and continue to repel this world’s order to eject her, she took root in this world. This was an inconceivable miracle.
“Coincidence? Miracle? Impossible.”
The Information Broker muttered to herself. Surely someone had intervened in this world by calling the girl’s soul here. There were only a few she knew who were capable of such a feat.
“Sheesh, who is scheming and for what… Still, I’m interested.”
It had already been over 5000 years since she was born in this world. In fact, it might easily exceed 5000 years, but it had long become too annoying to keep track.
Humans were interesting. Although their lives were shorter than hers, there was a kind of grandeur to them. The demons, archdemons, dæmons, and gods saw them as inferior species, but the witch chose them as targets of observation to kill time and ended up finding them foolish, yet endearing.
That way of thinking started with the first human she knew and continued to grow over time.
The well-defined lips of the Witch of Infinity curved into a smile.
There was something else that aroused her interest. Normally, when a person dies, their soul would leave to enter the reincarnation cycle. However, there was a soul who still hadn’t departed to the reincarnation cycle and remained by Herscherik’s side. It was just a soul that deviated from the world’s order, yet it called out to her, the Witch.
This was the soul of Count Luzeria, but the woman didn’t really care.
However, the desperation of the soul made the witch give that additional advice to the prince on a whim.
“Now then, I wonder what will happen.”
The whisper of the Witch of Infinity… the Information Broker dissolved into the void without being heard by anyone.