Chapter 476 The Witch Council
The entirety of the Northern Lands belonged to the witches.
The once incomparably powerful thirteen witch branches had split the Northern Lands into thirteen interconnected territories. These thirteen territories surrounded a neutral land that spanned up to fifty kilometers.
It was the location of the Witch Council– Werning!
Werning was also a mega-city of its own. It possessed an impressive population of nearly three hundred thousand individuals. The most famous building in the city was the Council Hall that sat in the center of the city. It was a sacred and holy land where only the witch leaders could gather to discuss their matters.
Every witch branch had their territories and had to manage all of their own external affairs. The witch leaders would never waste their precious time arguing in the council of this rural area if it wasn't a matter of great importance that involved all the witch branches.
Consequently, Werning had always been under the protection of the neutral witch clan, Clan Sidonthiria. To ensure their absolute fairness and neutrality, the Sidonthiria Clan swore to defend Werning forever, and to never expand their influence even a single inch beyond the walls of Werning.
It was the binding power of this ancient oath that allowed the unyielding flags of Clan Sidonthiria to continue waving above the skies of Werning, never changing through the years. Only seven of the thirteen witch branches remained, and the lands had changed hands many times, but the Sidonthiria remained faithful to their post.
It was a peaceful and casual afternoon.
Uzzah was patrolling in the skies around Werning on her flying broom with five witch apprentices flying behind her when she suddenly saw a black speck appear on the distant horizon.
Had outsiders come to Werning?
Uzzah frowned. She steered the flying broom with a push of her hand, and she flew towards the black dot with her party in tow.
Patrol Captain Witch Uzzah frowned when she reached a distance of almost two hundred meters from the opponents.
There were three guests in total. They sat on top of a magical carpet, which was one of the most common transportation tools that the Northern Witches used for group activities and transportation.
There were three people on the magical carpet.
The one kneeling on the very front and carefully controlling the flight of the carpet was a witch apprentice. Judging from her appearance and size, she was no more than eight or nine years old. The short apprentice's robe she wore was of a bizarre style. A symbol of scales seemed to be carved on the badge she wore on her chest. It was the first time Witch Uzzah had seen such a marker in a hundred years.
Two foreign-looking witches sat crossed-legged behind the witch apprentice.
The one in the lead was wearing a delicate purple and starry robe. Her head of silky silver hair flowed down her shoulders, and her face was unusually gentle and quiet. She had a pair of unforgettable blue eyes that shone with a seductive and mysterious charm.
The witch at the very back appeared to be much weirder.
Her figure was so muscular that she no longer resembled a woman. She wore a pirate's eyepatch over one eye and green leather armor on her body. She also held a thick wooden staff in her hands that looked unusually heavy.
Witch Uzzah had repeatedly evaluated the newcomers before she blocked their path with her flying broom. She hadn't managed to match them to any known witches in her head.
Finally, she couldn't help but speak.
"Sincerest apologies, but ahead of you is Werning City! If you wish to visit this place, please go to the ground and go in through the proper procedures. Otherwise..."
According to the rules passed down from ancient times, no ordinary witch was allowed to fly within fifteen kilometers of Werning City. Moreover, all witches would have to undergo constant surveillance by the witches of Sidonthiria. Only witch leaders and the witches of Sidonthiria, who acted as guardians, were exempt from this rule!
As the Witch Council had gradually been reduced to a decorative organization over the past years, the enforcement of these rules had also started becoming looser. A few thousand years ago, any ordinary witch that dared casually fly close to Werning City like this would probably have been immediately detained by the Sidonthirian Witches. They would never have been so pleasant as to come up and give a warning.
"From what I know, some witches have the right to fly and land at the Council Hall immediately!" The pretty purple-robed witch suddenly spoke. Her voice was deep but pleasant to the ears, yet it possessed a trace of might that tolerated no disrespect.
"Of course, this is a rule of the Witch Council," A smile of disdain surfaced on Witch Uzzah's face, "However, that rule only applies to the witch leaders of the various branches. Ordinary witches can't…"
Witch Uzzah's voice suddenly stopped before she could finish. That was because she saw a mysterious card glowing with prismatic light in the pretty girl's upraised hand.
"The Card of Fate?" Uzzah's knowledge was much wider than an ordinary witch's, given her capacity as a patrol captain. She could feel the genuine mystical powers from the card and couldn't help but exclaim, "You… are you Witch of Fate Alice?"
Even though the Sidonthiria Clan stayed in Werning City and never intervened in the various tensions between the witch branches, they had still heard of the reactivation of the Tower of Fate and the rise of the new Witch of Fate.
The Sidonthirians had also sent one or two representatives to send gifts to Alice at the conclusion of the Battle of Fate back then. These representatives had all described the new Witch of Fate Alice as an individual so mysterious that it was hard to get a grasp on her.
"I am Alice, leader of the Witches of Fate. I need to go to the Council Hall. What is it? Do you still intend to block my way?" Alice stared coldly at this witch of the Sidonthiria Clan.
"I wouldn't dare. Uzzah is willing to show you the way!"
Even though it was only a First Grade adept who stood in front of Uzzah, Alice possessed the halo of a witch leader on her head. Alice was not a person that Uzzah should provoke for no reason.
Witch Uzzah could only make way for this dominant and pushy Witch of Fate Alice. She accompanied Alice and her party as they flew into Werning City.
Two hours later, the long ringing of the Witch Council Hall's bells echoed throughout the city.
Many Werning civilians walked out of their rooms upon hearing the ringing bells. They gathered in the streets and gazed at the Council Hall, where the ringing had come.
This sound of a ringing bell was incredibly foreign to most people. It caused them to be at a loss as to what to do!
However, for some seniors, the ringing of these bells had instead awakened the distant memories that had been buried in their brains.
"This ringing. I know now. This is the bell sound when the witch leaders declare a meeting. I remember, I remember; my old grandfather had once described this tone to me when I was really young."
The audience couldn't help but be shocked when they heard the old man's excited shouts.
Most people in this crowd had lived their entire lives in Werning City. Yet, this was the first time they had heard of such bell tolling. Could it be that the long-sealed Witch Council was about to be reactivated once again?
"The meeting of the witches? Must all the witch leaders come when they heard this sound?" Someone confusedly asked.
"They will definitely come. As long as they are Northern Witches, and can hear this bell ringing, they will come." The elderly man seemed to be yelling at the top of his lungs amidst the chattering, despite his weak breathing.
As the center of authority in the Northern Lands of the past, Werning City had been silent and quiet for far too long!
All the citizens felt a passionate joy that they couldn't hide swell in their hearts now that they once again heard the ringing of the bells that had been quiet for a hundred years. Excited and joyful expressions broke out on their faces.
People cheered and danced, almost instantly turning Werning City into a sea of happiness!
As the civilians were celebrating on their own, countless apprentice witches with Sidonthirian emblems hopped onto their brooms and rushed out of Werning City. They flew towards the lands of the various witch branches.
Alice, who had barely climbed onto her seat as the leader of the Witches of Fate, had exercised her rights as a leader and submitted a suggestion for all witch branches to convene for the Witch Council.
For a moment, the effect of this matter rippled throughout the lands, causing a commotion everywhere. Everyone was discussing and gossiping, not knowing what the new leader of the Witches of Fate was planning.
The various witch branches were even more confused. They had absolutely no idea how to deal with this troublemaker that didn't play by the rules.
According to the traditions left behind by the ancient witches, only witch leaders could actively propose and organize a Witch Council. A democratic vote would then decide the more difficult internal affairs of the witches.
However, as time passed and the witch branches invested more and more efforts into the prosperity of their personal lands, the Witch Council that had once been the institution of absolute highest authority over the Northern Witches started to lose its significance. Even when conflicts broke out between the branches, the leaders only needed to get together to discuss a solution. They very rarely relied upon the great 'weapon' that was the Witch Council.
Thus, the Witch Council's authority was slowly stripped away and reduced to a shell of what it used to be. It became a place where the various witch branches took turns to manage the neutral public cities.
However, while the excellent reputation of the Witch Council could be sealed in the past, it could never truly wiped away.
That was why the entire Northern Lands erupted into disorder when the bells of the Werning Council Hall rang once again.
The witch leaders didn't like Alice, and they didn't wish for the Council to reign above their own rule. However, all of them could only cast aside their work with angry expressions and hurry to that familiar yet foreign City of Werning the moment the bells rang.
For a moment, things started to intensify around Werning City. Many witches hurried to this place by marching day and night. On the third day after the bell rang, the Pale Witch Leader, who resided furthest away, had also appeared in the Council Hall.
All the Witch Leaders of the Northern Lands had now arrived in Werning City.
After one hundred and thirty-two years, the next Witch Council had finally gathered.
The so-called Council Hall was, in truth, no more than an ancient, fortress-style castle.
The place where they held the council was also no more than a dimly lit hall on the second level of the castle.
Three long, narrow windows were nestled in the walls of the hall, and not much sunlight could get in. This place required torches to illuminate everything, even during the daytime.
A ubiquitous long table had been placed in the hall. Fourteen crude chairs made of wood sat alongside the table. Apart from the black chair at one end of the table, all thirteen other chairs were placed on both sides of the table.
The corresponding witch emblems were carved into the seats of the chairs.
At this moment, only eight people sat in the thirteen chairs; five of them were missing. On the other hand, no one even dared to go close to the black chair at the end of the table.
It was said that the black chair was the seat of the Witch Queen.
No one dared to infringe the might of the Witch Queen in this holy place!
Even if she had traveled beyond the realm for more than ten thousand years.