Chapter 393 393 Warm Welcome
The next morning started off smoothly with a lucky find of a wind deer, a hundred-kilogram antlered beast with a particularly pleasant flavour. It came close enough to the camp that Ella managed to get it with her magic, and then they cleaned and packed it up as a gift for the village after taking a few choice cuts for their own storage.
When the patrols around the village saw them coming with the animal slung over Wolfe's shoulders, the suspicion disappeared from their eyes, and they had nothing but warm greetings for the group.
"Have you come to trade then? I'm sure you know by now that all nomadic hunters are a welcome sight when they show up with a fresh kill." The patrol leader greeted them.
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"That was what we were hoping for. We still need a few things that we can't make ourselves, and we've got cash as well if you're inclined toward that payment method." Wolfe agreed.
"Indeed. We got an airdrop from home just the other day. They've been sending helicopters from somewhere in the swamps to bring us gear out here in the rural areas." The man agreed.
That was new. They were just getting things started a week ago at the next village over. This one must have gotten enough supplies grown to fill their cargo helicopter, however large that was.
The guard whistled a trilling pattern that Wolfe supposed was some sort of bird call, and a pair of young men in soldier uniforms came jogging out from around a bend in the path. 𝘣𝘦𝑑𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝑙.𝘯𝑒𝘵
"These two will take you to town. We got your description from the neighbours, and they vouched for you as peaceful." The guard explained and held up a picture of Wolfe, Ella and Christa on his phone.
"I forgot that you put cell phone towers out here. Well, it's good to hear that you're sharing information anyhow. Trying to introduce yourself to dozens of villages who have no idea whether they can trust you has always been a pain." Wolfe replied with a smile.
Ella wasn't hiding her aura, but the patrol was human, and they wouldn't know the difference anyhow. But once they got into town, the Witches would certainly gather.
They had to have sensed a witch that powerful nearby already; it was unmistakable if you were looking for it, and there should be at least one person on duty in charge of keeping a mental lookout for powerful magical creatures that would endanger the patrols.
The pair of youngsters walked casually back to camp, assuming that nobody was in a hurry since the guards hadn't given them any other instructions. That was more than enough time for half the village to be assembled by the gates when Wolfe and the others arrived.
"Don't they look adorable when they're confused?" Christa asked with a smirk when the two boys came to an abrupt stop near the gates, which were blocked by the villagers who were eager to get a look at the visitors.
Wolfe nudged Ella to make the introduction since she was the one they came to see, and the little blue-haired witch stepped forward with a smile.
"Good morning everyone. I'm sorry to have startled you or taken you from your work. We were just passing through on the way to where we left some people we liberated from the Grand Dutchies Auction House, and we needed some supplies.
We have money and a wind deer to trade, whichever you prefer." She greeted them.
"A Second Rank Witch? Who would have thought we would ever see one of them again?" An old woman sighed from back in the crowd.
The others moved aside to let her through, and the ancient, wizened old woman shuffled forward with the assistance of a walker and two younger witches.
"Good morning, Matriarch. This is a lovely village you are overseeing here." Ella greeted her.
The old woman smiled but shook her head. "It's overrun with foreign businessmen, I'm afraid. But it's still as pretty as ever. I just had to see for myself that there was another ascended one in Morgana Territory. My grandmother was one as well, but that was over a hundred years ago when I was still a young woman.
Tell me, girl. How is it that you broke the curse and managed to reach the Second Rank? I asked Peach, but she wouldn't tell me a single thing. Ungrateful children."
Ella did her best not to laugh at the woman old enough to call the Headmistress an ungrateful child and gestured to Wolfe.
"I may have cheated. You see, a powerful enough demon with a good nature is capable of working wonders for a Witch's constitution. Our bond allowed me and the others to reach this level." Ella explained.
The old woman wiggled her eyebrows and smirked at Ella, who blushed a little. She was old enough that the full rewriting of history wasn't complete when she was young. The magi were hated for a wide variety of reasons, but the truth about them would have still been known by her grandmother and might have been passed down to her.
"Well then, I suppose that a pair of demonic Familiars isn't a big deal when there is a Rank Two Witch present. Welcome to town. Moira, please lead them to the hotel for a bite to eat, and Jill can take that deer to be weighed for trade. These young ones will be happy to help you all with what you need." The old woman replied happily.
Wolfe couldn't help but appreciate the woman's open-mindedness, so he prepared a simple array as they walked forward. It was just a combination of Gravity and Wind Magic, along with [Gentle Steps] to let someone glide effortlessly along the ground, but when he tapped the woman's walker on the way by and applied it to the seat, her eyes lit up with joy.
Her mana activated the spell, and she became nearly weightless. The spells let her hold the handles of the walker and glide along the ground without having to hold herself upright. That took the helpers by surprise, as the old woman was moving at nearly a regular walking pace instead of her usual slow shuffle. She nearly left them behind as she returned to her home, bringing a wave of gossip through the crowd.