Riley concluded that he had no reason to hesitate. The next day, he got out of the inn and straight away went to the outer edge of the Romella Village to find the Sword Witch who supposedly lived there.
“I wonder if I will be able to find her quickly.”
Riley got out of the inn, enjoyed the chirping of the birds and stretched and yawned. He looked at the people busily walking around the town and muttered. Nainiae said,
“I wonder too. I feel like we are lacking in information a little.”
Even among the people of the village, they only had rumors about such a person circulating around. Reitri said nobody had actually seen her in person. That was why.
“They said she lives at the outer edge, right? Get me a map.”
Reitri had gone to gather more information about Ian and Riley said that he would go find the Sword Witch. He looked at the map that Nainiae had brought and narrowed his eyes.
“What a bother. The village is really big.”
The size of Romella Village was several times bigger than the Alieve Village that he had gone to before. Romella Village was more complicated too.
“Where should I start the round?”
To find the witch that was rumored to live at the outer edge of the village, the right answer would be searching the outer edge. However… The problem was that there were many places that could be considered as the outer edge.
“If we are unlucky, this means we might end up going around the entire village. If we pick a place and check the places in clockwise direction…”
With his finger placed on the map, Riley checked out the outer edges of the village. It seemed that he had decided to trust the instincts of a woman. He looked at Nainiae and asked,
“What about you?”
“Certainly… If we think about the possibility of not finding the place despite searching everywhere… That would be a waste of time.”
Nainiae looked at the map that Riley was holding. She held her chin and thought hard about this. She pointed at where they were standing and asked,
“We are here, right?”
“Is there any change in the sensation on your palm in comparison to when you were at the inn?”
“I wouldn’t be thinking about this problem if that had happened.”
After hearing what Riley had just said, she wondered if they really had no other choice but to guess. She directed her gaze back to the map.
“In that case, let’s start from the left side, counter clock wise.”
“Yes, I’m getting a feeling.”
Riley folded the map and looked at the direction.
The left side of the village had relatively more houses. Beyond the village was the scenery of the Karuta Desert that had regained its former self.
“Well then. Okay.”
With her opinion under consideration, Riley decided to make the round starting from the left side. He immediately started to walk toward the left side of the village.
“Starting from here?”
After getting to the outer edge on the left side of the village, Riley thought about the number of people and houses he just passed by along the way. He casually looked around the scenery and walked.
To find someone called the Sword Witch, Riley started to go around the village slowly. He looked at the scenery of the village on the side and tilted his head to the side.
“Yes, Young Master.”
“Is there anything… you feel?”
Having heard his question, she wondered if she should tell him or not. She nodded to confirm it to Riley and also glanced at the scenery of the village.
“Are you talking about the people’s gazes?”
Nainiae asked back and Riley nodded slightly to answer.
“I don’t think we are being watched, but… They seem to be weary… of us? I feel that their gazes are not so kind toward us.”
Riley and Nainiae got to the village only a week ago and now they were lurking around the outer edges of the village. It was obvious why the villagers were weary of them. However… their cautious eyes were a problem.
“Is it because of you?”
Riley put up sleazy face and picked on Nainiae. She pouted and complained.
“I have worn the proper clothing for the occasion?”
To not stand out, instead of the maid dress, she was wearing casual clothing. Riley nodded and pointed at her face.
“I’m saying that if we are drawing attention, it is because of your face.”
“Is there something on my face?”
Nainiae was acting like she was clueless. Riley shook his head and muttered.
“No, it’s nothing.”
Of the villagers who were staring at Riley and Nainiae, gazes from young men were focused on Nainiae in particular.
‘It could be because of her looks, but if that was the only reason, then there would be no reason for the women to glance in this direction too. There is definitely… something.’
With both of his hands planted solidly in his pockets, Riley lurked around the outer edges of the village. He looked back to see the path he had walked on so far.
“Nainiae, how far have we walked?”
“We didn’t even cover half of the path yet. This place must really be the biggest village in this area.”
Following Riley, Nainiae also looked back at the village. Finding all this walking around to be a bother, he clicked his tongue and started to walk again.
While walking, Riley used telepathic communication to Nainiae. While looking at the corner of a building that was coming up, he said,
<You see that corner, right?>
Although she was still not quite used to it, Nainiae was able to use telepathic communication after receiving Riley’s memory. She responded with telepathic communication.
<At that corner, try using invisibility magic.>
<Just do it.>
While walking, she was already at the building’s corner. For now, she decided to do as Riley asked. She carefully moved her fingers to prepare the invisibility magic.
<Is it done?>
Nainiae figured there must be a reason why Riley had asked her to cast invisibility through telepathic communication. She went right next to him and waited for the next order.
They waited at the corner. Before long, two villagers came by. They were in shabby clothes.
“What the? Where did they go?”
It seemed the two villagers were tailing Riley and Nainiae. They were looking around to find them.
“Did they sink to the ground? Did they fly up to the sky?”
“Hur… It is not like they are ghosts. How could they suddenly disappear?”
They looked around the area to find Riley and Nainiae. As if they could not afford to let it be like this, they tightened their fists and said,
“Still, this is Romella Village. Let’s keep searching.”
“Right. They are still only outsiders.”
Could they have business with Riley and Nainiae? They were about to move away from the corner to go search for Riley and Nainiae.
Question marks floated up on their faces.
“What… What is this?”
For some reason, their feet were stuck on the ground. The feet refused to come off the ground.
“That lass called Sword Witch… Did she swallow the entire village in a whole or something?”
From their side, from an empty space, a voice could be heard. The villagers who had been tailing Riley and Nainiae flinched their shoulders.
“Considering how it was like with Princess Reutrina, that won’t be so surprising, right?”
“Don’t jump to a conclusion. We cannot be certain yet if this lass is one of the purple humans or not. It is too early to tell. First…”
The villagers wondered if ghosts were having conversations next to them. They were shaking in fear. The boy and the girl who had been using invisibility magic to stay hidden suddenly revealed themselves.
“I should extract information from these bastards.”
There was definitely nothing there. Now, the two outsiders had suddenly showed up from nowhere. The villagers gasped for air.
“W… what are you people?!”
One of the villagers struggled with his legs that wouldn’t come off the ground and shouted. Riley cracked his neck left and right to relax it and said,
“That’s my line.”
Nainiae promptly cast temporary isolation magic and went next to Riley’s back.
“Now that it came to this, you will have to tell me everything you know.”
The villagers were panicking. Riley took a step toward them and called Nainiae.
After casting the isolation spell, she waved her right hand and cast her third magic. With gray light floating on her hand, Nainiae walked toward the villagers who were shaking in fear.
* * *
“In the end, we didn’t get much.”
From the memory she obtained from the villagers, Riley was able to extract information about the Romella Village’s Sword Witch. With a satisfied look on his face, Riley looked at the villagers below who were asleep. Riley said,
“The information is more or less the same as what we heard from Reitri.”
The fact was that the villagers didn’t know much about the Sword Witch. Riley clicked his tongue and scratched his head.
“To point out the one thing we have learned is that these bastards are not being controlled by the witch…”
The Sword Witch was rumored to have appeared when the village was in danger from monsters and disappeared after cleaning up all monsters.
Riley muttered out the information he had gotten from the villagers’ memories. He crumpled his face because the most important information that he needed was not there in their memories.
“Of all things, they don’t have information about where she lives?”
Riley complained how nice it would be if they could get a clue at least. Thinking it could not be helped, he turned to look at Nainiae and said,
“It cannot be helped. Let’s go on fishing once more.”
Nainiae broke out in a cold sweat and asked back.
“What are you doing? Hurry and cast it.”
“What do you mean?”
“What else? I’m talking about the invisibility magic. Let’s try catching another villager until we get the right bait.”
“Young Master, that is a little…”
Nainiae thought it was poking at her sense of morality. She was about to tell Riley that it did not seem like a good method. However, instead, she suddenly put up a puzzled look on her face. With a question mark on her face, she said,
“Ah! Young Master, how about we just check from above?”
“Instead of walking around the outer edges of the village, we could look at the village from above. We can check if there are any places where the Sword Witch could be or not… As for the bait method, how about we try it after checking from above first?”
Having heard her proposal, Riley looked up at the sky and wiggled his eyebrows, thinking that was a pretty good idea.
“I see. We could observe from above.”
Riley figured Nainiae was going to use fly magic. Riley nodded.
“All right. Let’s take a look from above.”
With Riley’s permission, Nainiae nodded and cast invisibility magic and float magic immediately.
“We will be going up.”
With float magic, Riley floated up to the sky. He watched the ground that was gradually moving away from him. He then turned his gaze to look around the outer edges of the village.
“Tsk. We should have started this way.”
“I’m glad I thought of it now at least.”
Nainiae thought about how they walked around the mountain at Andal’s place for nothing. She muttered and started to look around like Riley.
“Young Master, over there. At 2’oClock.”
“There is one in this direction too.”
To be precise, there were four… Riley found old, secluded houses in four different locations on the outer edges of the village. Riley narrowed his eyes.
“Should we say that our search range had been narrowed now?”
“I am not sure? I cannot discount the possibility that searching those places might turn up nothing. It is too early to tell.”
Just like how they started last time in counter clockwise direction. Riley decided to start searching from the remote house on the left side first and pointed his finger at the direction. Nainiae nodded as if she understood and used teleportation magic.
“… The third and fourth houses’ locations… You memorized them, right?”
“Yes, I prepared them.”
In case nothing turned up at the first house, Riley said that they should go to second, third and fourth houses in that order right away. Nainiae nodded and said that she had already finished preparing them.
Riley knocked at the first door and felt someone’s presence inside. He waited for a response.
‘There is one person inside…. Mana is not particularly high. This person appears to be an ordinary civilian, but…’
However, since purple people weren’t related much to mana, Riley didn’t ease his suspicion. He glared at the door, and a fragile voice could be heard.
“Yes, who is it?”
Along with the response, they could hear the sound of a staff being used on the ground. Riley and Nainiae both tilted their heads.
‘This sound is?’
Soon, the old door made a creaking sound. A woman in tattered clothing showed herself.
“I am sorry I came to answer the door so late. I don’t have the children here now, and I’m alone… What brings you here?”
The woman’s eyes were covered in a black blind. She had light purple hair which was held together in a side braid, which was a striking feature. Riley looked at the woman and furrowed his brows.
‘A blind woman?’