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The Royals: Part 10: The Witch

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Juge walked through the dirty roads.  Dust flew up in her face, but her expression remained stern. Her neighborhood had a few people here and there, all of them walking towards the fields. That was where most peasants worked. Juge strolled past all of them. She felt awkward, but didn’t show it. She glanced to the left, where a small shack sat. Juge gradually turned towards it, arriving at the front door.

As she pulled the door, it creaked against the floorboards, resisting her. Eventually, the door swung open, to reveal a dark room, with the only light coming from a single candle. Juge walked inside, where she sat down in one of two chairs, surrounding a table that took up most of the space in the shack. A man came out of the dark, sitting on the remaining chair. He wore a green jacket over a stained white shirt, and had a messy but impressive mustache, along with a shiny bald head. He sort of looked like a military general who had been forced to moved onto the streets. He began to speak, “She’s dead?” Juge replied, “Yes, a few hours ago.” “How’s your sister?” the man asked. “She’s mourning,” Juge said. “Good. Let’s go meet with that woman,” stated the man.

The two walked out a second door in the back of the shack. Juge shielded her eyes from the sunlight. The door led them to an open field, with no houses. The two began to walk farther, into the field. Zentrale had so much farmland and forest, that the peasants’ area was divided into small villages, each with large amounts of forest and farmland in between them.

They walked for about four hours, before coming across a lone house in the middle of the field. The man knocked on the door, and a few minuted passed before the door opened. An elderly woman opened the door, peering through. Her skin was wrinkled, and her nose was drooping. “Ooooh, you two, come in, come in!” said the woman in her old, dry voice.

Juge and the man walked in somewhat confidently, but at the same time, they seemed cautious. The inside smelled bitter and sickly sweet simultaneously. Juge’s nose wrinkled. The walls were made of drooping wood, with moss growing on random spots. A cauldron filled with translucent, silvery green liquid was standing in the center of the room, filling the shack with a faint light. There were no windows, and a small bed in the corner indicated that this was the only room.

The man spoke first, “You claim to be a sorceress and seer, descended from the ancient witch Hexel. Now, what evidence do you have to prove that?” “Well, I’m sure you know of my many enchanted medicines. I sell them on the black market, as most ingredients are banned,” the woman replied, while smirking and heckling subtly.

“Yes, your “magical” drugs are quite famous in the black market. But there is no legitimate proof that they are enchanted. If anything, they could just be some sort of drug you randomly brewed,” the man spoke sternly now.

The woman looked at him rudely. One of her eyes seemingly got bigger, as she stared at him. “You don’t believe me?” she said slowly and hoarsely. Her voice inspired fear in both Juge and the man. “N-no.. Of course not! We just need.. better evidence,” the man said uneasily. “Hmph, fine then.” The woman went to a shelf in the back of the shack, which Juge and the man hadn’t noticed before. From it she pulled a scrolled covered in dust and strange markings. She also pulled out a bottle filled with burgundy-colored liquid.  She placed the scroll on the table, splashed the liquid onto it, chanted something that the other two couldn’t comprehend, and threw the stained scroll into the cauldron. The cauldron began to bubble, and the silvery green liquid turned into a burgundy color, similar to the liquid she had pulled from the shelf. Suddenly, vines started growing from the cauldron. The vines transformed into sticks, then logs, then entire trees, until the little shack was engulfed with plant life.

“Is that proof enough for you?” the woman asked tiredly. “Y-YES!” Juge and the man replied simultaneously. Good,” the woman said in a dry voice. She pulled a stick from her pocket, stuck it into a leaf, chanted something incomprehensible once again, and all the plants disappeared in a cloud of dust. “Then we can get to work on what you two need,” the woman said this in the cheery voice she had used to welcome them in earlier.

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