The Contract with The Witch
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As mentioned before, the world where the Witch Forest existed was a very limited and confined world.
The confined world was spatially separated from the outside world. It was dangerous to go to the outside world, but since the lonely existence shouldn’t be killed, that place became a place to seal such an existence. That was the kind of place.
No, perhaps, it couldn’t be called a world. It was simply a confined space.
Indeed, this place was confined. Which was why if ordinary people went inside, they would die in a few days. The reason was because they couldn’t provide themselves with food.
There might be wild grass and mushrooms that could be eaten, but since there were many poisonous ones, eating them was no different from suicide. Although it was possible to get meat out of the animals in the present area, but these animals were called monsters. Before getting the meat, they had to become a bait.
For that reason, food was brought here once a month. It was clear that she should have been killed from the beginning if they wanted to make her starve. Anyhow…
The location was just a short walk from the log house. The barrier that repelled the monsters was expanded around the log house. It was a place where the barrier cut off. In other words, if Felicia went out from there, there was a risk to be attacked by monsters. However, there was no trace of tension or anxiety in her face, even though she was standing at the very edge of the barrier.
But, that was also obvious. She had already gotten used to it… more importantly, there were no monsters. Literally, there was none.
She was at the end of the barrier and at the same time, it was the end of the world.
There was something jet black spreading there. She felt uneasy when she looked at it, but she also had already got used to it. Felicia motionlessly looked at it on that spot… Unexpectedly, at the end of the gaze, a change occurred in the space that was supposed to be empty. The space was rippling, though only slightly.
Moreover, the change continued, and it became more prominent. The space was clearly distorted, and that happened in the next moment.
There should have been nothing there, but when she realized, a forest similar to the place where she was, had appeared. At the same time, there was a shadow of a person.
Those who didn’t know who that person was, probably weren’t from this world. A person with blond hair and golden eyes. Among many colors, there was only one race was allowed to have it.
It was the Elves.
“You are precise as always.” (Felicia)
“Hmmph, of course. Even though I’m still busy. If this is delayed, it will affect others. Anyhow, let’s get this over with. Here is the portion for this time.” (??)
The male Elf, Joseph, who said that, threw a bag. It wasn’t big, but it was enough for Felicia to hold it. She probably didn’t have to do that.
If people saw this for the first time, they might wonder what was inside the bag. In fact, Felicia felt that during the first time.
It was said that it was food supply for one month, but what was inside it? Of course, she didn’t think of that these days.
“Understood. Thank you as always.” (Felicia)
“…There is no need to say thanks. This is a contract, and I’m paying the price.” (Joseph)
“But still… It is thanks to you I can live in this way, because there is no replacement for that.” (Felicia)
“…Hmmph. Well, you can do as you please. I don’t need to know it. More importantly, give me those things faster.” (Joseph)
“Yes, I have it here.” (Felicia)
What Felicia gave to the man was a similar bag like the one she received, but… it wasn’t the same thing. It contained a lot of medicines created by the Witch. That was the contract and the price.
The medicine was given out in the place of the food. Felicia and Joseph had such a contract.
However, that contract wasn’t much different from a mere verbal promise. Although the contract existed, he didn’t use skills. Therefore, there was no binding or coercion there.
Even so, they both honored the contract.
At least, it was meaningful to Felicia. Now, there was only one connection between them. It was because of that Felicia was getting enough food. Even if Felicia couldn’t read the Book of Witches or should be called a failure as a Witch, she was allowed to live.
In fact, after the death of the predecessor, the amount of food had been reduced. It was reduce to the half of the initial amount. Even if she didn’t starve to death, it was really just that amount.
However, having signed this contract with Joseph, it became much better immediately. While saying that it was once a month, this time was already the second time. Even if Soma was there, it was thanks to that.
It was probably not unrelated for Joseph to start using that bag to pass her food. Along with what Felicia gave back, there were magic tools and the space inside was expanded. Even if it was stuffed with food for the second month, there was enough room there. At the same time, it wasn’t known from the outer appearance.
Moreover, the medicines that Felicia was giving was created by successive witches. By cutting down the portion little by little, she was somewhat able to pay the equivalent value. The rest of the medicine supplies would depleted soon, but… it was somehow thanks to Soma.
On the contrary, if she could understand the contents properly, she might be able to formally act as a Witch. The previous witches paid the price with Curse.
For the record, Felicia also could use Curse for a bit, but since she couldn’t read the Book of Witches, she couldn’t lend proper assistance, and the effect was lacking. Instead, she was paying the compensation with medicines… but, this was…
But then, it would also break off the only remaining connection. However, that was normal. Even though it was possible, she couldn’t behave more spoiled than this.
While thinking about such a thing, Joseph, who had confirmed the contents of the bag, raised his face.
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“Yes, I have confirmed. Well, then…” (Joseph)
“Aah, I’m sorry. I just want to confirm about something, is that alright?” (Felicia)
“…What is it? Make it short. As I said earlier, I’m busy.” (Joseph)
“I know. I’m… just curious. What will happen to unrelated people if they enter this space?” (Felicia)
“…What do you mean? I don’t understand.” (Joseph)
“No, I’m just curious. I wonder what would happen if there is such a circumstance.” (Felicia)
“Hmmph… I see. Do you think about unnecessary things since you have too much time? Seriously, I’m jealous…” (Joseph)
While saying such words, Joseph crossed his arms and creased the eyebrows. It seemed that he was earnestly thinking.
Of course, this was about Soma, but it make sense to ask him about it. It was because–…
“Well… they certainly will be restrained. Depending on the situation, there is also the possibility of beheading on the spot.” (Joseph)
“Beheading…? Uhm… why do you have to do that much?” (Felicia)
“That is all there to it. I always thought that you understand your position to some extent, but… it looks like you don’t have enough understanding of the situation yet. No one can know the fact that you are here. Of course, it is not good for the general public, but from the other side standpoint, they will certainly understand.” (Joseph)
“Is-is that so…?” (Felicia)
Felicia had a cold sweat because it was similar to what Soma had said.
Yes, that was because she also said the same thing to Soma. Since she was thinking that Soma would come back here today, this was completely unexpected.
But then, she realized that the concern was correct, and at the same time, she wondered what was happening. That was because Soma couldn’t return.
Well, she hadn’t completely understand the Book of Witches yet, so, it was helpful that she had Soma who can read the book.
“…Yes. This matter involves the entire Elves. So…” (Joseph)
“…Ex-excuse me?” (Felicia)
The appearance that she had been wondering about something for a while, was somewhat dreadful. She felt a bit scared, and her spine trembled.
However, as soon as she lifted her face, the feeling disappeared, and Joseph remained at that spot.
“Anyhow, that is how it is. Are your doubts clear?” (Joseph)
“Y-yes, thank you very much.” (Felicia)
“Hmm, well, that will never happen. No matter what means people are using, it is impossible to break in here since the world is closed.” (Joseph)
“…I see.” (Felicia)
Together with the question, she remembered about yesterday when she thought about Soma. She thought a little that if it was Soma, it would probably not weird.
“So, is there anything else? I’m going, alright.” (Joseph)
“Aah… yes.” (Felicia)
At that moment, she suddenly remembered that Soma ate something other than fruits, so it would be strange to say if she asked something more now. Felicia might be able to cook again even just a little bit, but when she thought about it… she kept silent, and swallowed the words.
“Well then, see you in the incoming month.” (Felicia)
“…Hmmph. …Yes. Aah, I’ll see you next month.” (Joseph)
Joseph was surprised because Felicia had never talked back like just now. Up until now, she just left without saying anything… but as he look at her back facing here, the space started to tremble. They were a lot of ripples in a moment, but then, all of it easily disappeared.
The only thing remain was a jet black space–…
“Hmm… it was very interesting in many ways.” (Soma)
The moment she heard the voice, her shoulders trembled. She reflexively looked back, and the one who was right behind her was Soma. Moreover, he stood with his usual expression.
“Eh… So-soma-san? Why are you here…?” (Felicia)
“Well, I couldn’t hold my curiosity, so I was watching secretly.” (Soma)
“Wh-what are you going to do if he discovers you…!?” (Felicia)
“If it happens, it will happen, but I believe that he won’t be able to find me. In fact, he hasn’t found me yet.” (Soma)
“That’s just your opinion… haa…” (Felicia)
As she uttered those words, the feeling of absurdity was piling up. So, she let out a sigh rather than continuing her words. That was certainly second guessing, but one of the reasons was the Soma said it was strangely persuasive.
“By the way, did you hear our conversation?” (Felicia)
“Hmm, I was listening from the beginning.” (Soma)
“This isn’t a compliment, so I think that it is a mistake to feel proud about it, but… oh well. So basically, I don’t need to inform you, right?” (Felicia)
“Indeed. It also means that my concern was right.” (Soma)
“I see… with regards to that… I’m sorry I didn’t think about it.” (Felicia)
“No, there is no need to worry. Half of it were unreliable remarks. Of course, it’s true that I am surprised for a bit.” (Soma)
What did he mean by unreliable remarks? Yesterday, he was telling with full of confidence.
“I’m still curious about the Book of Witches and other things. So, I still have no intention to leave this place. I will try to improvise for that purpose. I think I could go through this if I want to go out.” (Soma)
She lose her strength right away, and let out a sigh. Even if she glared at him, he didn’t seem to be able to do that.
“Well, for the time being, I’ll ask for your patience.” (Soma)
“…Haa. Well, sure. It is true that you’re being helpful… so please take care of me for a while.” (Felicia)
Even when she looked at him giving a big nod with ‘Hmm’, it didn’t mean anything… Somehow, a wry smile showed up. She couldn’t guess this until just two weeks ago, but it seemed that such a daily life would continue for a while.
Then, Felicia let out a breath, and suddenly turned around. After all, she was worried about the appearance of the person who just left.
“What’s wrong?” (Soma)
“…No, it’s nothing. Shall we go back?” (Felicia)
“Alright. Aah, let me hold that.” (Soma)
“Are you sure? It’s not that heavy, but… thank you.” (Felicia)
Nevertheless, even if she was concerned about the situation, it was impossible to do anything. As she squeezed out the appearance of that person… who was the brother who shared same blood, out of her mind, she started walking and heading toward her house with Soma.
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