City of Witches Chapter 89

Silence (2)

༺ Silence (2) ༻

 

*Note: Previously, there’s a mistranslation regarding Duchess Keter’s noble title. She’s a Duchess, not a Countess.

 

1.

 

  Amelia’s day began with her going to Siwoo’s room.

 

  Lifting the blanket covering his body and wiped his arms and legs with a lukewarm towel.

 

  Replacing the gauze covering his still-open eye sockets and using magic to maintain his overall hygiene.

 

  In truth, all of that wasn’t necessary.

 

  His body was almost frozen in time, it didn’t produce any bodily secretions due to his metabolic processes being halted.

 

  In the end, her act of atonement proved to be merely symbolic and futile.

 

  For about 15 minutes, she muttered to herself by his bedside, where he lay sleeping as if he was dead.

 

  It wasn’t anything special.

 

  Like usual, it was just her empty ramblings.

 

  Afterwards, she headed to her lab to begin her magic research.

 

  In fact, recovery magic wasn’t a particularly developed topic of research.

 

  Both witches and apprentice witches all possessed spiritual bodies.

 

  Compared to the intricate mechanism of the human body, their bodies, which were composed of mana and consciousness that centered around their brand, were considerably easier to restore.

 

  Even if their arm was severed, an organ was to be ripped out, as long as there was sufficient mana, they could restore them.

 

  Issues that were caused by something like virus or tumor weren’t even worth mentioning.

 

  In such circumstances, who would go out of their way to develop a magic that would only benefit humans?

 

  The highest recovery magic in the hierarchy was only in the 10th tier.

 

  That level was sufficient for the witches.

 

  But there was a part that even a witch’s spirit body couldn’t easily heal; the brain.

 

  The place where someone’s senses, reasons, thoughts, concepts and ideas were accumulated.

 

  Humanity had broadened the horizons of science to the extent of being able to travel back and forth to the moon, but they still hadn’t fully understood that particular organ yet.

 

  Electrical signals and chemical reactions taking place between billions of neurons were beyond the scope of the 10th tier recovery magic. Receiving damage to their brain meant death, even for witches.

 

  Moreover, considering the fragility of the human body…

 

  It was uncertain how high the tier needed to awaken Siwoo from his slumber.

 

  As she faced countless walls obstructing her progress, Amelia felt helpless.

 

  Even so, she never considered giving up.

 

  “…”

 

  Even though she felt helpless and there was nothing that she could do.

 

  Compared to the day when her master left her side, this level of despair was nothing.

 

  Unlike when she had to helplessly accept her fate, this time, she had a means to resist it.

 

  There was still a way for her to make amends.

 

  Regardless of how painful and tough the journey could be, that wouldn’t make her give up.

 

  -Creak!

 

  “Amelia!”

 

  When she heard the sound of approaching footsteps, the door to her research room swung open.

 

  With her flowing purple hair swaying in each step, Sophia appeared.

 

  She was Amelia’s longtime friend and someone she could confide in.

 

  “What’s wrong?”

 

  “I found it!”

 

  Sophia couldn’t hide her excitement as she bounced around energetically.

 

  Although she had a somewhat frivolous air compared to an average witch, this was the first time Amelia had seen her lose control of her emotions.

 

  Amelia’s pupils trembled.

 

  “What did you mean? What did you find?”

 

  “I found a witch who might be able to cure Assistant Siwoo’s condition!”

 

  “R-Really?”

 

  Amelia grabbed her chest in response to the sudden surge of hope that made her heart flutter.

 

  However, it was too early to celebrate.

 

  Sophia pulled out two stacks of crumpled paper from her embrace in a hurry.

 

  “While searching through the discarded archives, I found a thesis written by a witch about brain regeneration.”

 

  Among the stacked papers was a thesis.

 

  Amelia quickly took them from Sophia’s hand and read the title.

 

  ‘Brain Regeneration through Human Transmutation: Multi-world Psychology Interpretation and Entropy Recovery.’

 

  While Amelia couldn’t fully comprehend the depth of the thesis, a brief glance through the contents was enough to indicate that this was exactly what Siwoo needed at the moment.

 

  “The author of this thesis is ‘Smyrna1Smyrna, ‘Σμύρνα’ in Greek. The mother of Adonis, the mortal lover of both Aphrodite and Persephone. Due to her incestuous relationship with Adonis’ father, she was turned into the Myrrh tree and gave birth to Adonis while being a tree.,’ a 19th ranked witch specialized in human transmutation. However, there’s a bit of a problem…”

 

  “I know.”

 

  As soon as Amelia heard Sophia’s words, she understood everything.

 

  The fact that this thesis was found in the discarded archives meant that the author of this thesis had been exiled.

 

  “What was the reason for her exile?”

 

  “I’ve never met her in person, but… Apparently during her research, she involved about ten citizens. But, this happened so long ago that there aren’t any accurate records left.”

 

  Amelia, who had been overwhelmed by joy, clenched her clothing tightly in a calm manner.

 

  Originally, she held no ill will towards the Exiles.

 

  After all, she never had any contacts with them to begin with.

 

  However, the recent clash with Ea Sadalmelik still lingered in her mind.

 

  Witnessing the wicked witch’s cruelty made Amelia associate the word ‘Exile’ not only with disgust but also unease.

 

  Sophia was aware of this fact, so she spoke out to her.

 

  “Don’t worry. Not all Exiles are as malevolent as the public believes. The ‘Witch of Aquarius’ was notorious even among the Exiles for her psychopathic tendencies.”

 

  “Do you know her whereabouts?”

 

  “I casted ‘Clairvoyance’ to migratory birds around the world and found a hideout in the Northeast Greenland National Park.”

 

  The feeling of excitement that had swelled up within Amelia’s heart began to die down.

 

  She cautiously inquired.

 

  “Still, wouldn’t it be too risky?”

 

  She couldn’t hide her concerns.

 

  After all, this wasn’t just for anyone, this was for Siwoo.

 

  She had to entrust another witch to restore his brain.

 

  Considering that witch was an Exile, it wasn’t a wonder that she couldn’t make up her mind.

 

  “Amelia, I understand that you’ve been putting your effort into this, but there’s a possibility that you won’t make it in the end… You know that his condition is gradually worsening, right? Even if you somehow are able to cure his wounds someday, it might be too late…”

 

  Sophia’s words were right.

 

  What Amelia was trying to do was akin to an astrophysicist suddenly enrolling in a medical school to study until they became skilled enough to perform the most complex brain surgery in the world.

 

  There was no guarantee that her patient would still be alive by the time she was done studying everything.

 

  “What about Duchess Keter? You still can’t reach her? If it’s her she should be able to help us…”

 

  “You already know it, Amelia… No one has seen her for 82 years.”

 

  Duchess Keter had secluded herself in the Ivory Tower.

 

  She was the highest-ranking (and the oldest) witch who managed to reach the 30th rank in the hierarchy all on her own without ever inheriting or passing down a brand.

 

  Someone who was revered by all the witches.

 

  If there was anyone that could change this current reality and restore Siwoo to his original state, it would be her.

 

  In fact, after the incident, Amelia immediately visited the Duchess’ Ivory Tower.

 

  However, the Duchess was known for her indifference to worldly affairs.

 

  Throughout the month, without skipping a single day, she diligently sought her out. But the only person she encountered was only a two-digit ranked witch who loitered in front of Ivory Tower, eagerly awaiting the slightest morsel of advice from the Duchess.

 

  Since the metaphysical barrier laid out at the tower rejected anyone who wasn’t invited, Amelia could only go back without any results.

 

  Afterwards, she still sent her messages every day, but she didn’t receive any replies.

 

  “We need to make a decision. The longer we delay his treatment, the lower the possibility of him recovering.”

 

  Sophia wasn’t unaware of Amelia’s concerns.

 

  She knew that Amelia’s hesitation came from her traumatic experience of losing an important person to herself.

 

  Having to place another important person’s life in another witch’s hands was an obviously difficult decision for her.

 

  However, being excessively cautious didn’t always lead to the best choice.

 

  Amelia needed to make a decision now.

 

  So that she wouldn’t be left with regrets.

 

  Considering all possibilities carefully, Amelia pondered.

 

  And finally, with difficulty, she opened her mouth to speak,

 

  “Have you…tried to contact her?”

 

  “I received her reply this morning. I inquired about getting her a temporary permit with Countess Gemini as well and they said that they’ll give us their active cooperation… Actually, in the last two hours, they’ve been pushing it so she could restore her citizenship status.”

  

  They needed the witch named Smyrna to be brought directly into Gehenna.

 

  The current Siwoo wasn’t in any condition to go to the modern world through a portal.

 

  In the first place, the act of letting an Exile legally set foot in Gehenna was unprecedented.

 

  Countess Gemini aided them in this matter because they owed Siwoo for risking his life for their apprentice witches twice.

 

  They were even arranging a rather radical compensation for the Exile, offering her citizenship for treating Siwoo.

 

  “For now, let’s just confirm her credentials. To do that, I need to confirm her abilities with my own eyes.”

 

  “Yes, that’s the way to go. But, what’s your plan?”

 

  “I’ll summon her immediately.”

 

2.

 

  Between the modern world and Gehenna, there was a ‘Gate’ connecting them.

 

  To travel through it, three things were required.

 

  Unpolluted, clean rivers or oceans.

 

  Gehenna’s citizenship.

 

  A powerful shockwave.

 

  With those three requirements fulfilled, one could enter Gehenna through the ‘Gate’ from anywhere in the world and conversely, move to any place in the world through it.

 

  In the VIP lounge of the immigration control office, Amelia stood with her hand clasped, waiting for the person who’d come through the gate.

 

  Three hours had passed since the appointed time, but ‘Smyrna’ was nowhere to be seen.

 

  Sophia had constructed an image with her ‘Clairvoyance,’ so Amelia had an idea what the Exile looked like.

 

  Though, the quality of the image was poor due to Sophia borrowing the vision of a migratory bird.

 

  “…”

 

  However, even as several witches passed through, her figure was still nowhere to be seen.

 

  ‘Maybe she felt suspicious due to the sudden invitation? And she decided to hide herself?’

 

  Even in her spiritual form, Amelia felt her throat growing dry.

 

  Unable to hide her impatience, she nibbled on her lower lip.

 

  ‘Would it have been better if I were to go to find her myself?’

 

  ‘Did I ruin things again with my hasty judgment?’

 

  Amidst her growing mold of unease, the door to the immigration control lounge was opened.

 

  “Phew…”

 

  She let out an involuntary sigh of relief.

 

  The person she had been waiting for had finally entered the lounge, albeit timidly.

 

  As she had previously seen in the image, the Exile was of Asian descent, though the racial classification of ‘yellow-skinned’ seemed irrelevant due to her snow-white skin.

 

  Her jet-black hair was tied into a chignon bun, fully exposing her nape. Her dark, shimmering eyes didn’t conceal her unease as they wandered around.

 

  She wore a checkered rustic skirt, a furry coat with floral patterns and white boots. On her back was a backpack that was larger than her own upper body that seemed to be filled with various things.

 

  Regardless of who wore them, her fashion sense seemed so out of place.

 

  ‘Is that… the fashion sense of the modern world…?’

 

  Amidst Amelia’s bewilderment to her sense of fashion, the Exile, Yebin, called out to her.

 

  “Excuse me, this my first time in Gehenna… Are you Baroness Amelia Marigold?”

 

  “Yes, I am. Nice to meet you.”

 

  “Ah, I see…! My name is Yebin Smyrna. This is the first time I’m seeing a witch other than my master… Do I have to shake your hand?”

 

  After awkwardly wiping her palm on her clothes, Yebin extended her hand with an equally awkward smile.

 

  Amelia took hold of her hand, awkwardly shook her hand.

 

  “Thank you for inviting me. I heard that you have a patient for me… Where should I go?”

 

  “We need to take the portal first.”

 

  “O-Okay! Is it this way? Or this way?”

 

  “This way.”

 

  Amelia grabbed Yebin’s arm, who seemed to be unable to get her act together and brought her back to her mansion.

 

 


 

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Footnotes:

  • 1
    Smyrna, ‘Σμύρνα’ in Greek. The mother of Adonis, the mortal lover of both Aphrodite and Persephone. Due to her incestuous relationship with Adonis’ father, she was turned into the Myrrh tree and gave birth to Adonis while being a tree.
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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