Chapter 25:

On the run with a witch from another world

On the run with a witch from another world

I went after Chiyo, pushing through the crowd until I could clearly hear what the Inquisition scholar was saying.

“-and this evil witch is here among us, plotting our downfall as we speak! She hides in the shadows of Indestria, striking at will against the innocent. She’s no doubt plotting the return of the Devil!”

A shocked murmur went through the crowd. People turned to each other to discuss stories of the Devil in hushed tones. The elderly scholar shushed the crowd with reassuring words.

“The nightmare of 3 generations ago mustn’t repeat ever again. The Inquisition will make sure of that! Who does this witch think she is, to be running rampant through the streets of our dear city? No! Our peaceful everyday life will be protected at all costs.”

Chiyo reached the front of the crowd and gawked up at the scholar. I grabbed her by the shoulder and whispered in her ear.

“What in the world are you doing? We’re supposed to be running, this is way too risky!”

“Shh, this guy is seriously getting on my nerves. I don’t think it’ll hurt to go out with a bang, don’t you think?”

Those were scary words, especially when coming out of her mouth. “Seriously, what are you planning?” I hissed.

“You’ll see.” She gave me a vague smile before turning her bottomless black eyes back to the man on the stage, who continued his speech uninterrupted.

“Eighty-two years ago the world came to a standstill when the Devil appeared and tried to usurp the power of the human realms from the royal family keeping us safe and secure. A global coalition narrowly defeated the demon, but this war left deep scars that resounded through time. Even now the realms are not fully healed… Remember it well, witches herald the coming of the Devil, and we must be more prepared than ever to nip evil in the bud!”

As if given a signal, Chiyo ran forward and jumped up on the stage.

This idiot is going to get us into trouble again.

Naturally, I went after her. The scholar was too stunned to speak at these sudden disruptors. Chiyo went up to the man and with a magic-imbued flick of her finger, she lifted the pointed hat from his head and placed it on her own. She turned to face the crowd as she proudly put her hands on her hips. The spectators had mixed reactions to this sudden spectacle. Some ran in panic upon seeing magic in use, others were mesmerized and stared at Chiyo with their mouths agape.

“Ahem. Hear me, people of Indestria!” she began. “I come before you here this morning with a very special announcement!”

The old Inquisition scholar didn’t wait to hear what Chiyo had to say and hobbled off to get help. I sure hoped she would keep her speech short.

“My name is Chiyo Arata, I am the foremost of wicked witches, on a quest to bring chaos to Scaldis and beyond!”


This was just about the last thing I expected her to say. Shouldn’t she be explaining the situation and garnering sympathy? Instead, she was leaning into the angle that the Inquisition was spreading and only instilling more fear into the people. It wasn’t at all like Chiyo to be saying this. It almost looked like she was possessed as she continued her speech to the stunned audience with grand gestures.

“I have just finished clearing out the royal palace’s treasures, after single-handedly striking down a renowned witch hunter. My power is truly without an equal. I’d love to see you try to hunt us down. Who will prevail? The rotten Inquisition, or us star-struck lovers on the adventure of a lifetime? Come at us!”

Chiyo turned to me with sweat running down her face and a cunning smile. She grabbed me by the arm, pulled me in close, and then…

She kissed me with great intensity. First I felt her breath against my lips as she came closer, and then her soft skin tingled against mine. Despite the confusing intensity of the situation, I quickly drowned out the outside world and let myself get swept up in the moment. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sensation, as well as the warm feelings flashing through me. Then it was over again. She let go of me and we looked each other in the eyes. Her eyes sparkled and her cheeks were flushed. By the Gods, she’s beautiful.

Chiyo turned away and raised my hand to the sky. Both our faces were as red as the currently rising sun.

“This is Oliver, my enchanted lover. Remember the name well!”

Having said that, she dragged me along as we jumped down from the stage and made a run for the hidden tunnel nearby. Several knights were about to pass through the golden gate leading out of the palace, and they had their eyes fixed on us. We had wasted far too much time, and now it would all come down to a race to the outer gate.

With the kiss still fresh in my mind, we dove through tunnels as I tried to orient myself. We needed to make our way to a gate.

“What was that whole speech about, have you gone mad?” I nervously said as we rushed through a passageway that was just broad enough to fit two people.

“I don’t know!” She had an excited smile on her face. “I was getting seriously pissed off by that Inquisition guy, and I felt like playing the role of the villain to put them in their place. On top of that… it was like my body was taken over for a minute, the words just came out on their own.”

“And the kiss?” I hesitantly asked.

“It felt like it fit the dramatic nature of the moment, so I went with it. Was it no good?”

“N-no, it was great. I feel warm all over.”

“Hehe, so do I!” The blush from earlier still radiated on her face.

We stopped beneath a staircase leading up onto the streets of Indestria. Rushing out, we found ourselves in a deserted alleyway. After sneaking through the backstreets we made it to the main street - which was also empty - next to the city gate. All I saw was a lone guard when I peeked around the corner. It looked like leaving would be a lot easier than anticipated. I turned back to Chiyo.

“There’s only one scrawny-looking guy standing guard. We can take him on.”

Chiyo gave me a nod. “It’ll be a piece of cake! I bet he’ll faint as soon as he catches sight of me.”

On my mark, we both ran around the corner, straight at the guard. Instead of pulling his sword out or fainting, he screamed at the top of his lungs.


Shadows blotting out the morning sun flew across my face. I stopped in my tracks, looked up, and saw a dozen or so figures jumping from the rooftops. My mind had been only filled with Chiyo and the touch of her lips, so I failed to think about the possibility of a trap. In hindsight, it was painfully obvious. We’d messed up.

Chiyo quickly reacted with a spell she put her little remaining mana into.


Several bursts of air shot from her spread fingers, into the sky. It wasn’t all that powerful, but certainly enough to seriously bruise or knock the wind out of a person. The figures were knocked off course one by one, and they crashed down on top of each other. A big dogpile of groaning knights formed, blocking any reinforcements from taking the main street to pursue us.

Chiyo collapsed, having expended all her energy. I rushed to her, put her arm over my shoulder, and started supporting her out of the city.

The lone guard by the gate turned white, then grey, and finally green. He stood frozen in shock, his teeth clattering. We passed the poor man without paying him any mind. Our adventure in Indestria had come to an end.

Now the issue of putting distance between us and the city presented itself. After crossing the moat, I tried the only thing I could think of. I put my thumb and index finger in my mouth and whistled as hard as I could. Birds in the distance were startled and flew away as the sound reverberated through the valley. Slowly I could make out a distant sound.

And sure enough, a lone horse crested the valley’s rim and came barreling down the slope. If nothing else, Verus had trained his horse meticulously. Too bad we were going to run off with it again. Had he not gone straight after our scent upon nearing Indestria, he might have just reunited with it. Oh well.

Onwards to the north, to Klaralven!

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