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"Come on. One, two, three…"

"To your recovery, cheers!"

Inside the living quarters of the Sleeping Spell, a small celebration was underway. Looking at Dusk's happy smile, Balshan helplessly raised her glass.

As partners, Dusk would visit her often, completely paying no heed to her own situation. Back on the Sleeping Island, she knew for certain that she would never have cared so much for a Combat Witch. The mixture of guilt and being moved made her feel as though she paled in comparison to Dusk.

Even though Balshan knew that Dusk would never think of such a thing.

But when her gaze landed on the other person, her expression turned nasty.

"Why are you here?"

Charms confidently downed an entire glass of wine. "I was the one who brought this red wine; why can't I be here?"

"Why does it sound like we can't get to drink without you?" Balshan rolled her eyes. "Neverwinter has many pubs, we can get it from anywhere."

"A pity, His Majesty announced that the Western Region is in a state of war and all alcohol are controlled commodities, you can't get it just because you want it." Charms shrugged. "So you should be thanking me, I stole them out of my old man's storage."

State of war, huh…

Balshan suddenly lost her interest to bicker.

Even while recuperating in bed, she was able to sense the tense atmosphere in Neverwinter.

The first inklings came from the frequent news regarding the developing grounds from the weekly reports that increased to two to three prints a week. It included reports on the frontline along with emergency recruitment articles and missing people notices. According to the newspaper, although the defense line was regaining their foothold and pushing the flames of war out of the developing grounds, the price paid to do so had been huge. Once the grasslands, farms, and settlements that were built up through difficult times were destroyed, the chances of the missing workers surviving would undoubtedly be slim.

The most obvious and direct impact were the drop in eggs and meat for lunch, with bread becoming the main staple. Of course, they were on much better terms compared to the other cities. At the very least, they were able to fill their stomachs.

The second was the streets.

Everyday, she would see many new soldiers in uniform moving through the streets, with residents and family standing by the sides to send them off. Excitement and nervousness could be seen from their faces, along with reluctance and worry. From a cursory look of the numbers, the number of soldiers recruited to the Fertile Plains was definitely not trivial and on a completely different level compared to the recruitment for the knightage and the Judgment Army.

This was war.

For the continuity of the race, thousands upon thousands of men fought with everything they had under the support of a civilization population tens or hundred times their numbers.

Compared to them, the battles she had experienced as a Combat Witch was simply too insignificant…

Her choice to move to the Fertile Plains with Dusk previously was based on her unwillingness to bump into people she knew. But after the destruction of the developing grounds, she was once again banished back to the state of a 'useless person.'

"Hey, why are you silent all of a sudden?" Sensing no ridicule from Balshan, Charms couldn't help but be taken aback. He scratched the back of his head and stole a glance at Dusk. "Did I say something wrong?"

"Dusk don't know." Dusk stuck her tongue out. "But Dusk knows that the person who sys something wrong must drink three more glasses!"

"Hey… are you drunk…"

"No, Dusk is not, this is only the second glass, Dusk is fine!"

"Knock. Knock. Knock…" Right then, a series of loud knocks on the door broke Balshan's train of thoughts.

"Coming!" Dusk immediately jumped up and headed over to open the door. "Eh… Lord Camilla?"

By the door was the Chief Butler of Sleeping Island, Camilla Dary. She swept the room with her eyes and walked over to the other two.

"Seems like you've overstayed your visiting time." Balshan forced a smile. "Lady Dary detests people who don't abide by the time; it'll be difficult for you to come here the next time."

"How is that… I'm keeping track of the time, it hasn't even been half hour…" Charms replied meekly.

Right when Balshan was about to retort, Camilla walked past Charms and stood in front of her.

"The Witch Union has announced a new recruitment geared towards the Witches in Graycastle." The Chief Butler got right to the point. "At the moment, we have a headcount of about fifty slots, with priority given to those who have combat experience. I feel that you might be more suitable, so I came to specially ask you."

Balshan was stunned and took her a long time to grasp the meaning behind Camilla's word. Mass recruitment, priority given to those with combat experience—could it be that this was related to the war? But if that were true, why not have any requirements on the recruits' powers?

"You've guessed right." Seemingly having seen through her doubts, Camilla spoke up. "The Witch Union is building a unique task force meant to support the frontline, specifically to assist the main force as a response to an even more difficult battle. I am unable to reveal the specifics, but you should know the risks involved on the battlefield, so the choice depends on you. Of course… although it isn't much in relation to powers, it doesn't mean that you'll be chosen upon responding to the recruitment. In the end, the result will depend on—"

"I'll go," Balshan replied immediately.

There was nothing to hesitate about!

Or rather, she had waited too long for this day to come.

"Then… follow me." Camilla turned to the side to make way.

"Hey, are you really thinking of going to the frontlines?" While passing Charms, he asked her with a hint of worry in his voice.

"What's this? I thought you would be cheering out loud." Balshan smirked. "This way, you can date Dusk without a worry."

"I…" His mouth opened wide as though he wanted to say something, but seeing Balshan's back, Charms ultimately didn't complete his sentence.

A day later, Balshan arrived at the Misty Forest on train.

The person in charge changed from Camilla to an unknown lady named Isabella, who was responsible for the selection and coaching. For an unknown reason, Balshan had a baffling feeling as though she knew her despite it being their first encounter.

And the other surprising thing was the number or recruits was far more than she had anticipated. Not only were there witches from the Sleeping Spell, but many from the Witch Union had come. In the short half hour journey, she got to know Vanilla, Amy, Hero, etc. Aside from that, she recognized a few familiar figures among the crowd, for example, Iffy and Nightfall from the Bloodfang Association.

It appeared as though they were also eager to prove their value on the battlefield.

With Isabella's guiding them, the witches walked into a factory building after disembarking from the train.

Upon entering, everyone were instantly captivated by a metallic object in the middle of the empty space.

It resembled a 'car,' with the wheels being the most obvious parts. But the difference between it and the cars in Neverwinter was that there were five wheels on each side of the all-metal vehicle, with some sort of bound iron panels beneath them, wrapping the wheels together. The appearance of the vehicle was extremely unique.

Balshan immediately recognized the vehicle. It was somewhat similar to the machine used to excavate and plough the land for agriculture purposes… That's right, it was called the tractor or something.

But compared to the tractor, there were many more iron lumps especially for the upper layer. As though sealed tightly with metal plates, the top resembled a fort's control tower with an obvious metal cannon sticking out at the center.

One glance was enough to tell everyone that it was a weapon born for war.

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