City of Witches Chapter 152

Debt-Ridden Witch (7)

༺ Debt-Ridden Witch (7) ༻



  Sharon stayed up late into the night, drinking with Siwoo. After a while, she finally went to bed.


  In the past few days, she managed to catch four Homunculi in total, which helped her cover the payment for this quarter.


  Not only that, she also indulged herself in a satisfying meal of fried chicken and beer, a meal that she could only hear about, and made a friend for the first time ever in her lonely life in this foreign world.


  As a result, when she laid down on her bed, she felt at ease. She finally could close her eyes properly for the first time in months.


  Back in the day, she used to have a regular sleeping pattern.


  But, since she had to juggle between her part-time job, her hunt and the various minor errands to pay off for her debt, she hadn’t been able to sleep comfortably.


  And so, instead of sleeping, she used that time to research magic.


  After all, she couldn’t just spend her whole life trying to pay her debt.


  She was still a witch, and it was her duty to study and do magic research.


  Moreover, her current rank, 17th, was three levels lower than her predecessor.


  This happened because she had inherited an incomplete brand. It was a very rare phenomenon that could occur during the process of brand inheritance.


  While she believed that the magical knowledge in her brand wouldn’t be lost entirely and one day, she’d be able to recover them all, she still couldn’t slack on her research. That would be disrespectful to her predecessor, after all.


  Despite everything, she still managed to spare time for a brief nap every day.


  Not today, though, as something unexpected woke her up before she could even fall asleep.


  -Bang bang bang!


  “I’m from the Seodaemun District Office! Is anyone home?”


  That voice came from a strict man whose duty was to enforce the established rules and regulations without compromise.




  Sharon stood still, holding a suitcase with a blank face.


  It was the suitcase she placed stood up against the wall, a makeshift for her wardrobe since she didn’t have one.


  At first, she thought that due to its small size, small enough for her to crouch into, it wouldn’t pack a lot of things inside. But, apparently she possessed more things than expected, though it mostly was the possessions that she brought from Gehenna.




  Gradually, she began to grasp the reality of her situation.


  The rooftop room was her long-awaited sanctuary in this cruel world. Only after five years of searching was she able to find it.


  After she was exiled from Gehenna, she spent her first year being homeless, wandering the streets while working in 24-hour cafes and fast food restaurants.


  Occasionally, she slept inside her suitcase in quiet places she found.


  In the second to the fifth year, she lived in a basement-like studio.


  The monthly rent she had to pay, with maintenance fee and without a deposit, was 380,000 won.


  It had a strong mushy smell that made her lungs feel like they’d be filled with mold just from breathing the air. Not only that, she also had to share a bathroom with other residents.


  While living there, she saved some extra money to find the rooftop room, where she eventually moved into and stayed at during her sixth year until now.


  From her perspective, it was an acceptable place for a living, considering that she had to pay 500,000 won monthly, including the maintenance fee and a deposit of 2 million won.


  The landlord even offered a 30,000 won cut if she didn’t report her move-in, which was a quite generous offer.


  Unlike other witches, she couldn’t afford to buy a fake identity. Even her phone and bank account were registered under someone else’s name.


  Because of that, she would receive no protection if the local government were to regulate illegal buildings. The landlord had all the right to kick her out without her being able to retaliate.


  From the local government’s point of view, she was an illegal resident without a doubt.


  People had tried to comfort her, telling her that she should have sought help from the local government to look for a new place to live, and how she should have taken a look at the building’s register first before living there, but she didn’t feel comforted by those words at all.


  Some might mock that shabby house of hers, but to her, it was a warm and comfortable place to live, with running water and a functioning shower.


  But, no matter what her opinion was, the building was still an illegal building.


  “Someone is living inside… What does it matter if it’s illegal or not…?”


  She kicked away a can lying on the ground.


  The can made a loud clattering noise before it was flung away to the distance.


  Biting her lip, she sat down in frustration.


  In her hand, there was a crumpled and wrinkled white envelope.


  Earlier today, the landlord came to her to apologize and returned her deposit, 200,000 won in total.


  She wanted to throw it away in a fit of anger, but she couldn’t bring herself to do so.


  With a justification that the money was blameless, so she shouldn’t unleash her anger at it, she restrained herself.


  ‘Everything is going badly.’


  ‘I can’t even do things that I wish to do.’


  “I… Want to cry…”


  Tears began to well up in her eyes.


  Once again, she was faced with the harsh reality of poverty that wouldn’t allow her to mourn even for a moment.


  Finding a suitable studio apartment as an illegal immigrant was like catching a star from the sky.


  But, she resolved herself to never give up. One day, she wouldn’t be homeless anymore.


  After all, she had already tasted the warmth of a house, there was no way that she’d be willing to stay homeless.


  She took out her phone and installed an app.


  An app for reserving accommodations.


  As she carelessly scrolled through the pages, her mouth dropped open in shock.


  “Wow… Insane…”


  In Sinchon, there were motels lined up next to churches.


  It was understandable, due to the region being popular among young people.


  Since she hadn’t found a new place to live yet, she figured that she could stay in a motel temporarily.


  “It costs 120,000 won for one night? The check-in is at 6 pm and check-out at 11 am in the next day?”


  Seeing how high the prices were, comparable to a third of her previous monthly rent for less than 24 hours, shocked Sharon.


  She saw that they charged 30,000 to 40,000 won to stay and thought, ‘It’s more expensive than I expected, but it’s probably worth it,’ so, she made up her mind to go there, but…


  It turned out that those were hourly rate prices.


  Apparently, they offered options where one could stay for about three to six hours, mostly for napping purposes.


  The revelation that a lot of people were willing to spend so much money just for a nap baffled her.


  This was the very first time that she had learned about something like this.


  “What should I do now…?”


  She deleted the app without thinking twice.


  There were other options like guesthouses and hotels, but after she saw how expensive a motel room was, she didn’t have the energy to check those places out anymore.


  “…Anyway, I should exchange these things before I go to work.”


  She took out the crystals she got from the Homunculi she hunted from her pocket.


  ‘Whatever happens, I have to secure some emergency funds first.’


  “Also, I need to check the Homunculi Database…”


  There were still four hours before her shift at the convenience store started. She had enough time to handle her errands before going to work.


  So, she walked to the bus stop, dragging her suitcase behind her.




  Whether it was in Gehenna or the modern world, there were unwritten rules that the witches had to obey.


  They must not reveal their existence to the outside world.


  They must live in secrecy.


  They must not intervene with history using magic.


  They must not create social disruptions using magic.


  Those rules existed for various reasons.


  Some believed that their significance would diminish when their ‘mystery’ faded. Others thought that this was the result of an agreement between the Tree of Sephiroth and the leader of various nations.


  But, Sharon believed that the reason why the witches held back their power and showed this much restraint was because of Duchess Keter.


  Throughout history, there were many witches who abused their power or committed evil deeds to achieve their own selfish goals.


  For example…


  The ‘Witch of Plague,’ the very person who spread the plague in the 14th century and caused the death of millions of people. She was subdued by the Duchess after a three-day battle.


  In the 17th century, there were 12 witches who called themselves the ‘Silver Dawn.’ They denied Gehenna’s existence and pledged to create a new world ruled by witches. To do that, they went to the modern world and established their own kingdom, only for them to be massacred by the Duchess in mere two days.


  There was also the ‘Dragon Witch,’ who actively participated in the American War of Independence in the 18th century. After incurring the Duchess’ wrath, she could only return to her lair in the desert.


  Then, there was Qlipoth, a group that carried out a large-scale infiltration to Gehenna in the 19th century. They were easily suppressed by the Duchess who had just come out of seclusion back then.


  The Duchess detested the witches’ meddle and excessive interference in the modern world. That was why, while she maintained a mild approach toward the matter, the moment they crossed the line, she’d openly show her displeasure.


  Among the witches she defeated were renowned figures of their eras. They were among the most powerful beings in the world. After knowing that, there was simply no one who dared to challenge her.


  Her status was like that of a dragon in a fantasy story.


  A being indifferent to most things, but once it found something that displeased it, it would unleash its fiery breath mercilessly.


  Even the various underworld organizations and cartels always took caution to not provoke her.


  And the aforementioned unwritten rules naturally applied to the Witch Point; ‘Gehenna’ for the Exiles. The Gwanghwamun Branch was disguised as a private insurance company in a building in the middle of the city.


  But, only the top five floors of the building served as the Witch Point.


  As she entered the lobby of the luxurious office building, Sharon was greeted by a well-dressed security guard.


  “Welcome, Witch Evergreen.”


  “I’m here to exchange money.”


  “Understood. Please follow me.”


  The security guard knew of her identity and treated her accordingly as he was a civilian employed at the Witch Point.


  It wasn’t possible to assign other witches to this kind of menial task since they were busy with their research. To make up for it, they employed individuals from various foreign intelligence agencies instead.


  Sharon had a suspicion that this particular security guard was one of them, but it wasn’t like she could confirm it.


  Once she stepped out of the elevator that took her to the top floors of the building, she found herself in an office space that resembled a typical corporate office.


  Inside, she saw some employees making phone calls, and some handling documents while using various office-related equipment like shredders.


  There was one thing that stood out in this scene, though. The fact that some of the women in the office possessed extraordinary beauties.


  But, it wasn’t something out of the ordinary, as they were undoubtedly witches.


  Ignoring them all, Sharon went straight to the currency exchange office.


  “Please give me cash for these crystals.”


  She placed the five crystals she owned on the counter. The well-dressed employee, who looked like a bank teller, took them to verify their authenticity.


  The exchanging process didn’t take long.


  They only needed to make sure that the crystals were real and weighed them using a special scale. After that was done, they gave Sharon the money equal to the crystals’ value.


  After a week of hard work and hunting, she earned a total of 5.12 million won.


  Just a while ago, she felt dejected, as if her whole world had crumbled down, but this unexpectedly big profit brought her some relief.


  Afterward, she visited the administrative support office on a lower floor to pay the quarterly fee of 6.5 million won.  


  Lastly, she looked for public archives about Homunculus, but she found no report about ‘perfectly identical Homunculi.’


  She let out a sigh, contemplating whether to report her findings to her superiors or not.


  “Ugh… I’ll do it later. My shift starts soon…”


  That, and she wasn’t feeling particularly motivated today.


  When she was about to turn off the computer and leave, a certain someone who further worsened her already foul mood entered her line of sight.


  “Ah… Fuck…”


  Involuntarily, she let out a curse.


  Though, she believed that she wasn’t doing anything wrong.


  After all, the other witch’s existence to her was like a cockroach to a normal person. Who wouldn’t swear when they saw one of those critters crawling around inside their closet?


  The witch in red, Della Redcliffe, was a nuisance to her. Someone who’d do every little thing to make her life miserable.


  “Oh my, that’s a pathetic display. Have you been wiping that mouth with a dirty rag?”


  Della said while lifting her chin, maintaining an elegant manner.


  With a red visage, reminiscent of red tulips, perfectly worthy of the name ‘Witch of Ashfire.’ 


  From her short, curly reddish-blonde hair, her sharp eyes that reminded Sharon of a fierce rooster to her mocking gaze.


  Everything about her exuded a fiery redness.


  “Sorry, I was startled. I didn’t mean to swear at you.”


  Obviously, that was just lip-service. Nevertheless, Sharon didn’t want to interact with her any more than necessary.


  Because, the moment they engaged in a conversation…


  “Judging by your appearance, you’re still living a pathetic life just like the rat you are, it seems. So, how many flyers did you put up yesterday? Wait, don’t answer that, let me guess.”


  …The fucker would openly pick a fight with her.


  Sharon bit her lip and glared at Della.


  “Maybe it’s ten? Or twenty? Oh, could it be a hundred?”


  Ever since they had a dispute over their hunting grounds, Della had made it her life mission to agitate Sharon whenever they crossed paths.


  Despite her elegant and noble appearance, she knew everything there was to know about how to get under other people’s skin.


  If she was as talented in magic as she was in shit talking, she had probably overthrown Duchess Keter by now.


  “From the look of your face, my last guess is the correct one! Amazing! Congratulations! You must have earned an extra ten thousand won overnight!”


  “I’m leaving, get out of my way.”


  Sharon said, trying to push past Della, who was clapping her hand while mocking her.


  She knew she couldn’t defeat Della.


  After all, if she could, she wouldn’t have endured this kind of humiliation for ten years.


  The one time when she challenged the insufferable witch to a duel, she suffered a crushing defeat.


  It wasn’t a surprising outcome considering that she was only on the 17th rank, while Della was sitting on the 20th. There was a huge gap between their strength to begin with.


  To Sharon’s effort, Della didn’t move away.


  Instead, she came and brought her face closer to Sharon’s.


  Della was already half a head taller than her, and the fact that she was wearing heels added to their difference in height.


  They engaged in a staring contest for a while afterwards, but Sharon’s pupils started to tremble slightly, revealing a weakness that Della could pounce on easily.


  From the very start, she was already losing the mental battle.


  “Why don’t you stop that? Didn’t I tell you that I can make it easier for you to earn more money?”


  Della’s hand crawled up like a snake, caressing the tip of Sharon’s chin.


  Goosebumps started appearing all over Sharon’s body. Without any hesitation, she slapped the other witch’s hand away and rushed to the elevator.


  “Fuck! Crazy bitch!”


  She let out more curses as she desperately tried to run away.


  Seeing her reaction, the tips of Della’s lips curled up.




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City of Witches

City of Witches

마녀의 도시
Score 9.2
Status: Ongoing Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
Five years after being kidnapped and enslaved in the City of Witches. He became the only male Witch in the world.


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