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Chapter 365: The Journey to the West

Translator: Meh/TransN Editor: - -
Petrov yawned, sat up in his bed, and immediately felt a chill run through his upper body. He would stay in his bed forever if he could, where it was warm and had Shirley's company.

"Don't you want to sleep a little more?" The woman beside him turned over and mumbled groggily, "It's still early, isn't it?"

He bent over and kissed her forehead—Shirley had brown hair that fell in soft ringlets, skin as smooth as a baby's, and a pair of lovely round eyes. When he first met her at the Longsong Theatre, it took no more than a glance for him to be completely drawn by her eyes.

"I think it's almost noon, so I should head downstairs to see if there is any official business to attend to." Petrov whispered. "Go back to bed if you don't want to get up, and I'll have attendants bring lunch to you a while later."

"But I want you to stay here with me." Shirley wrapped her arm around his waist. "It's snowing outside anyways, so what official business could there be?"

She wasn't wrong. Ever since the Months of Demons arrived, the entire city immediately fell silent. Theater performances became weekly, all the merchants left the markets, and even the taverns shut their doors. If someone had walked on the streets during the day, he might have even thought this was a ghost town.

So... should he sleep for a little longer? After pursuing Shirley for nearly a year, Petrov's dream finally came true, and he felt a little reluctant to leave. Yesterday's entire night of joy really wore him out, and now that he had regained his strength, perhaps there could be a second round of joy with Shirley after lunch.

Right at this moment, a knocking came from outside the bedroom.

"Sir Petrov, there is a blue-envelope letter."

He was shocked and immediately rolled out of bed, picked up the robe that was carelessly tossed on the ground, and draped it on. "I'll be there in a second."

"Sir?" Shirley murmured.

"Give me a minute." Petrov said as he tied his belt hurriedly and left the bedroom. After a while, he returned to the bedroom and crawled into the quilt holding a letter encased in a blue envelope.

"What's this? Who wrote this to you?" At this point, the woman was basically wide awake. She yawned and sat up to lean against Petrov.

"It's from Border Town." Petrov replied. "It must be a letter written by His Highness."

He opened the envelope and took out the letter, and as he quickly scanned its contents, he couldn't help but frown. "His Highness orders me to pay a visit to Border Town."

"Right now?" Shirley exclaimed. "Even in this weather?"

"Yes, it must be about something urgent." Petrov sighed, "I'll pack later and leave in the afternoon. You should go home for now, and I'll visit you as soon as I get back." He couldn't help but think of the time a year ago when he sailed through a blizzard to Border Town, bearing the warning from Longsong Stronghold for Duke Ryan. Yet now, he was summoned back to that god-awful place because of a letter from the town Lord in a cruel twist of fate.

"Can't you just pretend you didn't receive it?" She said, annoyed. "Even though he conquered the Longsong Stronghold, you're the actual ruler here. Even if it were the King's order, you didn't have to immediately carry it out, right?"

If it were from the Duke, it would have been possible. However, Petrov knew Prince Roland's impatience full well. He could only lovingly stroke her head. "That's not the same. The King might not pay attention to the Western Region, but His Highness Roland can... He isn't only the Lord of Border Town, but the ruler of the entire Western Region."


During the Months of Demons, there truly wasn't much official business to attend to in Longsong Stronghold. After delegating a few tasks to his underlings and placing the town under his father Earl Hull's charge, Petrov left the castle. Different from last time when he was only accompanied by one assistant, this time he sailed on the Duke's private ship—the Lionheart, with more than ten attendants and apprentices, as well as two family knights. It was quite a spectacular scene.

Just as they were passing through the outer city and heading towards the Stronghold harbor, sounds of an uproar coming from the street corner caught Petrov's attention.

He saw ten or so men in a circle watching something. Judging from their dress, they were all civilians. They were probably attracted from their homes nearby by the noise. A few cries of "demon" also occasionally erupted from the circle. "Hang her!" Someone screamed sharply.

Petrov felt a twinge of sympathy and told one of his knights, "Go check it out. If it's a regular brawl, tell them to get back into their houses."

"Yes, Sir."

The knight pushed through the people and walked into the middle of the crowd. As he pulled out his swords, the crowd quickly dissipated. He brought back a woman and two children, one of which still had a rope tied around her neck.

"What happened?"

"Sir!" The woman knelt next to Petrov's feet. "Kill her immediately! She has fallen to temptation and become a witch!"

This word shocked Petrov. "Witch?" He cast his sight onto the other two people. The slightly taller boy immediately stood in front of the girl and looked as if he was ready to attack. His face was badly bruised, revealing that he had been beaten brutally. "She isn't the demon's minion! I saw in plays that there were both good and bad witches. Why do you punish her?"

"Are you certain she's a witch?" Petrov ignored the boy and continued asking the woman.

"Yes, Sir. Don't be fooled by the plays. If the Church were still here, it would have never allowed them to spread such lies on stage. This thing here is also a little demon, and I was punishing her on behalf of the Church. Sir, hang her right now so that the influence of Hell won't spread in Longsong!"

"Get to the point!" Petrov snapped.

After the woman had jabbered on for quite some time, Petrov finally understood the whole story. After the church was burned down by Timothy, this woman and some other believers continued preaching of their own accord in the outer city, and at the same time waited for the Holy City of Hermes to send a new priest to rebuild the Western Region's church. This chaos happened out of pure coincidence. Just as the girl was using her abilities to help her neighbors clear out the snow on their roofs, the woman ran into her, which led to the debacle at hand.

While she was talking, the woman kept complaining about the absurdity of primary education and the demoralization of theater performances, which led to the onlookers only dared to hold onto the boy but not help her kill the damned demon. If it were in the old days, her corpse would have already been hung on a beam... These hateful words made Petrov's face twitch.

"Take her back and interrogate her thoroughly." He spoke to his knight. "You'll stay in the Stronghold this time. When I come back, I expect all the disciples similar to her to be in prison."

"What... no! Sir, how could you..." The woman had not even finished protesting before she was silenced by a few slaps across the face from the knight.

"Are you really a witch?" Petrov asked the terrified little girl. "Show me your abilities."

The girl could only kneel weakly on the ground and gave no response.

Petrov shook his head, raised his voice, and repeated, "If you can prove that you are really a witch, I'll let you go."

After a long time, the girl stuck her trembling hands in the snow. Soon, a layer of snow that was nearly an inch thick melted into flowing icy water.

"So I see." Petrov nodded. "Come with me."

"Come?" The girl raised her head. "Where to go?"

"A place fit for witches to live." He motioned for his servant to pick up the girl and continued walking to the harbor.

"Put her down, you liar! You promised to let her go! " The boy wanted to rush towards her, but he was blocked by the other attendants, and his voice faded slowly into the distance.

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