The Divine Hunter

Reaper Scans

 

Chapter 421: Another Visit to Cintra

 

[TL: Asuka]

[PR: Ash]

 

It was mid-September of 1262. Roy had been in training in Novigrad for a month.

Kalkstein had solved one of the problems regarding the Trial that had stumped Lytta for a long time. If they kept this up, they could administer the improved pre-Trial to the reserve apprentices early next year and increase their survival rate. And they didn't have to worry about which school's Trial should they take.

The higher vampire decoction research was also in progress. Every day, Letho and Kiyan would travel to the lab after class and work with Kalkstein until the wee hours of the night. But the creature's body was filled with mysteries. Its blood, organs, and even its tissues were complex labyrinths that needed time to figure out. It would be a while before a breakthrough was made.

And Coen also brought a surprise for everyone. The old boy had broken free of the affairs of his heart and rekindled the passionate flames with Igsena. Out of gratitude and some other reason, he agreed to share Dual Sign with the brotherhood. Every afternoon, he would come to the orphanage and teach them all about it.

Nobody could refuse the call of the Griffin Arts, and so, all the witchers went to class, including Roy. Dual Sign wasn't something only the talented could do. Anyone who could cast Signs well could do it. Serrit, Vesemir, and Geralt mastered it the fastest.

On the other hand, the most talented but youngest member slowed everyone down, and Lambert would take every chance he could to laugh at Roy.

One month later, Roy barely managed to master all seven Dual Signs and leveled Griffin Arts from Level 5 to Level 6. Dual Signs were doubly more powerful than one-handed Signs, but the mana consumption was doubled as well. And casting it took more time than with one-handed Signs. Roy still needed a lot more training if he wished to use it in battle.

***

Two months had passed since Dandelion and Auckes left for Toussaint, but still there was no news of them. On the surface, it felt like they were captivated by Toussaint's culture, but everyone thought otherwise, and they were worried.

***

Another morning dawned on Novigrad, dark clouds hanging overhead. Willow branches swayed, their dewdrops shivering in the breeze.

Geralt and Roy were standing in the orphanage's courtyard. They were in tight blue clothes paired with equally tight but red pants. Their feet were covered in a pair of boots, and crocodile-hide belts hung around their waists. Their weapons and medallions were tucked away, and they were well-groomed. Aside from their peculiar eye color, Roy and Geralt looked like a pair of aristocrats, aristocrats who looked fitter than those who lost themselves in booze and women.

Coral was handing a one-time portal to Roy and whispering something into his ear.

Roy nodded and pretended to listen, but he was thinking of something else.

Over the last month, Triss contacted him through the telescope twice. He told her to do it between one to five in the afternoon, so there was no way Coral would see them. The mandrake's effects had worn off, and Triss had finally returned to normal. She talked to Roy like a friend and told him what happened on her end lately.

Adda got news about the coming war and told Foltest about the threat Nilfgaard posed, and Keira handed Gruffyd's journal to the king as well. That was enough to catch Foltest's attention. After consulting the royal council, he made an unprecedented move. He would send out scouts to Amell and see what Nilfgaard was up to.

The news came as a surprise for Roy, but it was still unknown if Temeria would join the battle.

***

The Wolves stood before Geralt.

Lambert slicked his hair back and said seriously, "Geralt, you should take me with you. If that hag says no, I will sneak Ciri back with us. Not like Cintra's gonna last long anyway. You won't make an enemy out of them."

Eskel shook his head. He argued, "Calanthe's going to die soon, and you want to kidnap her granddaughter. We don't need to play any tricks on that poor lady. There must be a better way."

He was reminded of how he got his scar. "We cannot force the Unexpected Child to do anything, or Destiny will fire back at us."

"Didn't you hear Geralt? That hag is as stubborn as a mule. Let's make a bet. If Calanthe lets him take Ciri, I'll give you all my entertainment money for this month. You give me yours if it's otherwise."

"So what's your plan?" Vesemir looked at Geralt. It wasn't until recently that he found out Geralt had an Unexpected Child. He never told anyone about it.

Geralt stared at the clearing beside the alder woods beyond the fence. Cleaver's dwarves were swinging their tools around and making a new house for the coming year's new kids. They had built the foundation of three new houses.

"Roy and I have talked, and we'll be seeing Calanthe first. If we know what will happen to her and keep it a secret, it will not sit well with Ciri when she finds out. And we're doing this alone. A group of witchers is cause for concern in most cities."

The White Wolf looked at the overcast sky and raised his right hand to feel the air. No wind. Slightly hot and humid. The air's feeling heavy. Like something's coming. "We should go now. Before the rain comes."

A gust of wind appeared within the courtyard, and a square door with golden sides appeared out of thin air. The children leaned on the windowsill, staring outside.

Roy and Geralt waved everyone goodbye and leapt into the portal.

***

Three dizzying seconds later, the witchers opened their eyes and found themselves standing in a luxurious room with a big bed, a resplendent dressing table, tons of lipstick, and a huge closet.

Geralt bent over and retched. Once the nausea was gone, he looked around and commented, "How many safehouses does Lytta have?"

Roy pushed his fringe aside and put on his sunglasses. Then he patted the sparrowhawk in his hood. "Yennefer has a lot of safehouses too, if I remember correctly. And you guys meet up in more than one of them."

"Alright, that's enough. You should use your premonition on better things. Stop talking about her and let's go."

***

Cintra's streets were wide. Their roads were as sturdy as Novigrad's, but their buildings were simpler. The walls were made of robust stone, the houses tall and hardy. There was not an inch of redundant decoration on the windows either.

A refreshing sea breeze blew into the city, bringing with it the smell of sea salt. The witchers crossed the streets and looked around the city.

Cintra was a kingdom that stood by the sea, and they were great allies with the Skellige Isles. The culture of Skellige rubbed off on the locals, and burly men with headbands and sleeveless shirts were common sights on the streets. Their cheeks were rough from the assault of the sea winds, and their faces were red.

The women were well-built and had a straightforward attitude as well.

The pair of witchers went straight for the palace that was standing on the cliff in the north, though they noticed something different on their way there. There were more armed soldiers patroling the streets than usual, their cautious eyes looking in all directions. It looked like they were protecting someone important.

They found out why there were so many soldiers around when they arrived at the drawbridge of the palace. A multitude of flags hung at the drawbridge's sides, billowing in the air. But Cintra's emblem wasn't the only one on the flags.

There were flags that showed Sodden's emblem of an octagon ruby, Verden's flag that contained black and yellow squares, Brugge's green-and-white-cross flag, and there were even flags of Lyria and Rivia, and Toussaint.

"So the talks about an alliance aren't over yet." Roy stared at the row of soldiers standing before the gates. "We need to sneak in."

Geralt straightened his collar and the crest on his chest. It was a coat-of-arms that had a bear with a girl in a blue shirt on its back. "Allow me, Ravix of Fourhorn, to do the honors."

 

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