The shape of the witch,
Images that didn’t form any pictures and fragments that could not be put into words flashed.
But then they disappeared immediately as if nothing had ever happened.
He shook his head to get rid of the strange feeling of being pricked by a thorn.
“What is it?”
“No… It’s alright.”
“You must be tired. You look like you haven’t been sleeping.”
Tinassha seemed worried; she reached out and touched his cheek.
“I slept for about three hours.”
“That can’t be called sleeping.”
She sighed, an exasperated look on her face, and began pushing Oscar towards the bed with both hands.
Her thin arms and light bodyweight shouldn’t have been able to move someone as tall as him, but as if there was magic involved, he was being pushed towards the bed, gliding on the floor. Finally, he ended up sitting on the bed.
“Hey, I still have to sort out these documents.”
He looked up at the witch in bewilderment. She suppressed a laugh.
“If you sleep for a while, you’ll finish it sooner than expected.”
“Come on, sleep.”
Tinassha’s white finger poke at his forehead.
The moment he thought she must have done something; he fell into a deep sleep.
When he woke up, he was alone.
Checking the clock, it seemed like he had only slept for about one hour, but his mind and body felt miraculously refreshed.
When he looked at the table, he saw that the documents were still there in a bundle.
He got up and picked them up. They seemed to have been organized in order, and on top was a new piece of paper with a woman’s writing, neatly listed out where to look over, as well as the gist of the other points.
“What a baffling woman.”
Smiling wryly, Oscar skimmed over the notes and left his chamber, with documents in hands.
※ ※ ※ ※
“MissTinassha, what great timing. Explanations about our roles in the festival will begin soon in the library.”
A magician from the group on the lower floor of the atrium saw her on the upper floor and called out.
When Tinassha noticed, she lightly bowed.
“Thank you. I’m going now.”
There were three weeks until the festival. She jogged down the stairs and joined the queue of magicians.
As one of the apprentice magicians, she had duties to undertake.
“So, what duty do you take?”
“Eh, I’m in charge of the illumination.”
She answered Oscar’s question while still floating upside down on the ceiling.
She was still wearing the accessories that sealed magical power, but it was clear from her current state that she surpassed normal magicians by far. She played coy and never displayed this power in public, but now that she was in Oscar’s chamber, she floated to the air as if taking a breather.
“What does it mean?”
Oscar asked while looking over the documents about the festival’s security.
The soldiers would perform security duties in rotation, in three groups: guarding important people, guarding vital places, and patrolling. During the festival, there would be people coming to the castle from outside; to prevent infiltration and assassinations, strict vigilance was necessary.
Normally, comprehensive reports about these things would go through the generals, then approved by the Prime Minister. However, as the Prime Minister position was currently empty, Oscar was the one to make final approval.
“Illumination duty is creating magical light sources to illuminate the castle’s moat. The light will look like it comes from underwater. It’ll be very pretty, don’t you think?”
“Ah, so that’s done with magic? I thought they put lamps underwater.”
“It’s easier to use magic.”
Tinassha came down without a sound and sat on the chair next to Oscar.
“Practitioners can only maintain it within the range of their power though. Normally, the most they can manage is about the distance of two or three stores.”
“And you, how far can you be away?”
“Hehehe, I can handle it being anywhere in the castle. Even with the seals. I have to go see the festival too!”
Seeing the witch smiling so delightfully, Oscar wanted to be a bit mischievous.
“Alright, I’ll speak with the Chief Magician and ask him to assign you something more difficult.”
He half rose up to head for the door.
“D-o-n-‘t! I’ll cry.”
Tinassha frantically ran forward and pulled at his clothes, dragging him back to his chair.
“He probably doesn’t have much faith in a newcomer. He won’t give me anything important.”
“Well, that’s right. It’s just a joke.”
She puffed up her cheeks at that. Ignoring it, Oscar signed the document and turned to a new sheet.
“Seems like you really look forward to it. Haven’t you come to a festival before?”
“It’s my first time.”
She started playing with the candlestick on the wall, waving her hand at it to light up then put out the fire.
The light in the chamber flickered, and waves of light were produced on the wall.
“Last time when I came to live in Farsas, it was right after the festival. It was such a shame that I remember it very well.”
“Why didn’t you come again?”
“I promised to not set foot in Farsas until Reg died.”
Tinassha smiled wryly and floated to the ceiling again, her white dress flowed in the air like a curtain.
Oscar lifted his head from the documents and looked up at her.
“I didn’t want to hear about the news of his death, and then I forgot about the festival.”
She smiled like a girl, but he couldn’t read any feelings from her expression.
“By the way, what do you come here for? To spread rumors that there’s a ghost in my chamber?”
Oscar looked at the witch twinning in the air in exasperation.
At first, she came at night through his window, saying she had some “business”. The inside of his chamber couldn’t be seen from anywhere in the castle, but if someone could, they would think about something scary seeing a woman in a white dress floating in the air.
“Ah, it’s just a small thing, so I forgot. About me protecting you…”
“My protection is a small thing?!”
“Well, you’re strong enough, aren’t you…?”
She turned upside down with a truly disgusted expression on her face.
“Well, it’s a contract, so I’ll do it properly. I’ll be busy going to the festival, so let me set up my defense magic beforehand.”
“That’s called skipping work.”
Pushing the back of the pen to his temple, he turned another sheet of the reports with a bitter face. That was the last one; when he finished it, he gently arranged them on the table.
“Alright. So, what do I do?”
He sighed. In contrast, the witch happily descended before him.
“I already constructed the magic. It’s a bit complex.”
Tinassha said and linked her fingers together, letting her palms face him.
Five circles made from thin, faintly red lines emerged in the air between her raised hands and Oscar’s face. They immediately unraveled then intertwined, forming an enormous magical diagram woven intricately like lace.
Oscar almost exclaimed at such a sight.
“Will the contract be perpetual? Defined by three moments and two generations…”
Chanting flowed out from Tinassha’s mouth like a song of praise.
Chanting wasn’t required for simple magic.
Actually, since she was now acting as an apprentice magician, it was. However, she had always used her will or her hands, so this was the first time Oscar had heard her chanting. Just the fact that she needed a long chant now, indicated how strong the magic being casted was.
“Eliminate the words that can breach at its origin, the rain that is formed will lose its significance… All the rings will return as rings… Comply to my rules… Take everything that appears.”
The diagram rotated slowly while becoming even more complex. With the conclusion of her words, it was absorbed into his body.
He turned both his hands over in surprised; there was no trace of the diagram.
“Yes, it’ll be alright with this. It’s semi-permanent.”
Tinassha took a deep breath and calmed her strained breathing.
“It’ll disable all attacks from outside, whether they are magical or physical. It won’t work against poison and such though, so please be careful. It’s linked to me, so if I die, it’ll lose its effects. On the other hand, no one can break it unless I am killed.”
“That’s almost like a cheat.”
Oscar raised his voice in astonishment.
There was surely a number of important people in this world who would pay anything to have such a powerful protection.
But they probably would never be able to have such magic casted on them in their whole life.
He had employed a witch to be by his side; Oscar once again felt it keenly, and it made him want to shudder.