Chapter 1497: An Entirely Different Scenery
Under the afternoon sun, the warm and gentle breeze blew into the room, lifting up the few scattered documents along with Tilly’s hair.
It might had been her annoying hair that had poked her eye, or it might have been for some other reason, Tilly suddenly felt her eyes turn sour. But even so, she did not dare close her eyes, afraid that the scene before her might disappear once again.
The other party didn’t plan to give her the opportunity to stare in a daze.
She threw her luggage on the ground and took large strides around the mahogany desk, then threw her arms out and grabbed Tilly into an embrace.
Feeling the firm and vivid sensation of her clothes made Tilly realize that what she was facing… was no illusion.
“It’s me.” Ashes adhered herself to her cheeks. “Long time no see.”
The instant she heard Ashes’s voice, Tilly’s vision blurred.
It was like having restrained something for the longest time and finally having the opportunity to let it pour out in torrents.
Even though she knew that such an act was not dignifying, she didn’t wish for it to stop—she never needed to hide her emotions in front of Ashes, be it in happy times or sad.
And now, she was no longer sad.
Not one bit.
Ashes gently caressed her hair and quietly gave Tilly her time. The two maintained their postures with the sunlight blanketing over them.
It took a long while before Tilly finally calmed down.
She wiped away the tear stains on her face and stared at Ashes. “Exactly what happened after the Battle of Divine Will? Why are you only back now? What is Brother doing away for so long?”
The latter smiled and caressed the blushing face. “Relax, I will tell you everything I know in time. To be honest, I was surprised to be able to see Roland—in the Dream World.”
Following that, Ashes recounted her entire experience after waking up.
In Roland’s words, although he had gained full command over the Cradle, searching for a witch’s consciousness within the civilization memory banks was extremely time-consuming and tiring work, along with the fact that her physical body no longer existed. Considering that he wanted the most precise restoration, Ashes stayed in the Realm of Mind for a very long period of time.
During this entire process, she slowly restored herself by searching for scattered fragments of her life. But considering that she grew and adapted inside the Realm of Mind, the current Ashes was unsure of the differences between her and her past.
As for her physical body, Roland relied completely on his own impression of her and reconstructed the form, even though Roland had hoped to undergo a few trials before execution, Ashes no longer wanted to wait. Fortunately, the merger between her consciousness and body went extremely smoothly. When she opened her eyes to the world once again, she was standing on the island above the Bottomless Land.
“So that’s why your face no longer have your scars?” Tilly asked.
“Err…” This time, it was Ashes’s turn to be embarrassed. “I used to think that it was a reminder for me to always be cautious and to be extra vigilant in battle, so I left it there. But now… there is no longer a need for continued slaughtering, I thought you… might…”
Seeing the other stammer, Tilly burst out laughing. “I will not deny that. But that will not be a factor in who I choose to like. Are these the clothes that you wear frequently in the Dream World?”
“Yeah. Not just the clothes, but the money and luggage as well—Roland kept repeating that these things are far easier to obtain than reconstructing a consciousness.”
The two looked at each other for a moment, before Ashes continued, “I do not know whether I’ve lost anything during my insentient drifting. So much that compared to the old me, the current me isn’t even sure if I am the Ashes in your heart. But one thing that I know for sure is that the yearning to see you has never decreased since the beginning—”
Tilly extended her hand and interrupted her. “I can assure you; you are Ashes, and nothing has changed.”
Ashes remained quiet for a moment, then revealed an expression as though a heavy burden had been lifted off her chest.
“Right, what about Anna and Nightingale, they were clearly present and even returned to the camp after the end of the war. And what is Brother’s current situation? Is it impossible for him to leave the Realm of Mind from now on?” Tilly looked up in Ashes’s embrace and changed the subject.
“Roland isn’t really in the Realm of Mind, he is this entire world. He isn’t able to leave the Cradle, but Anna and Nightingale are able to come and go as they place. But…” At this point, Ashes cleared her throat. “The question is not whether they can, but whether they wish to. In all, Roland is living a life far better than you can even imagine. Don’t worry about him.”
“Is that… true?” Tilly asked carefully.
“Yes, forget about him, he isn’t worth your pinings.” Ashes shrugged her shoulders, then suddenly remembered something. She turned to her luggage and fished out a document. “Also, Roland asked me to hand this over to you.”
Tilly’s expression froze. “Is that going to be some new responsibility he is entrusting me?”
“Nothing for you to handle personally,” Ashes explained. “These are all the toys he had fiddled with, mainly to create a link between the Dream World and our world.”
To enter the Dream World previously, the God’s Punishment Witches could not separate themselves from Roland’s “light beams.” With him losing all contact with them, the God’s Punishment Witches themselves were no longer able to be as relaxed as before. If not for them being aware that his departure was temporary, the entire Taquila community might have a big issue.
With the document, it could be said that they had a resolution to the issue, allowing Tilly to feel assured for the ancient witches.
On the document were various strange diagrams and lines, which was most probably depicting a magic-powered installation.
“I will have Agathe over now.” After making the call, Tilly frowned slightly. “Right, there were a few ancient witches that were with Brother when his consciousness was interrupted, right? Their bodies are no longer usable.”
“Roland considered that as well, in fact, his next step is to create new carrier bodies for the God’s Punishment Witches. Not only will their spirits be able to use the vessels, they will be able to adapt to it automatically and regain their senses.” Ashes nodded. “But this step requires not only the Cradle, but Neverwinter to participate as well, until we obtain the relevant technology.”
“I trust that Celine and the others will do their best.” Tilly smiled.
“Once that is over, there is the last step.” Ashes carried on. “This time, Roland seems to have thought deeply about it. Aside from allowing the Witches to interact with the Dream World, he wants the people from that world to come over here. He has already hailed it as a new Project Gateway.”
Tilly’s mouth gaped open in shock.
She instantly realized Roland’s goal—there was no doubt that when a technologically advanced community and a magic power community interacted, it would bring about world-shaking changes.
Although it would even speed up the development of civilization, it would also incite even more inconvenience. Upon realizing that she was the one to face them all, Tilly felt a larger headache incoming.
“I knew that I shouldn’t have accepted the crown.” She whined.
“But I feel that even if we redo it all over again, you would agree to his requests.” Ashes took a step back and knelt down on one knee and performed a Knight’s salute with a fist across her chest. “You’ve performed beyond what you think you have actually done, my Queen. You are already a qualified sovereign.”
Tilly fixed her eyes on Ashes for a moment, then extended her right hand. “Are you willing to walk with me from now?”
“Of course,” Ashes replied with conviction. “It will be my honor.”
That’s right, compared to an hour ago, not only did the things on Tilly’s table not decrease, but it had also increased.
But she did not feel as dreadful as before.
Because this time, it was an entirely different scenery around her.