The Divine Hunter - Chapter 164
Chapter 164: The Girl with Elder Blood
Roy was walking across a cramped, spiral corridor lit by torches, and a smooth-faced servant with a ponytail and dressed in red was leading the young witcher up the stairs. “Hey, where are you taking me? It’s time for me to have an audience with the queen, right?”
Hassock turned around and gazed at Roy calmly. “No. The gentleman’s unkempt hair and torn attire is unfit for a meeting with Her Majesty and Her Highness. I shall have to clean the gentleman up a little.”
He came closer to Roy and sniffed the air, then he waved the air away effeminately before he showed Roy a look of disdain. “Pardon my honesty, but the gentleman does not smell delightful at all.”
“That’s impossible. I wash myself every day!” Unless he was in the wilderness and there were no villages nearby, Roy was more conscious about his hygiene than most witchers. Compared to Letho and Auckes, Roy could very well be a germaphobe.
But when he smelled his shoulders, he knew why Hassock said he smelled. “Well, I sweated during my training this morning, and I didn’t have time to clean myself up. You can understand, can’t you? We risk our lives in this line of work, so we have to train often to keep ourselves in top condition.”
“The gentleman does not have to explain himself. Come with me.” Hassock turned around and murmured quietly, “But you do smell like a man.”
Roy heard that, and he froze. “Um…”
Roy’s feet were immersed in a bathtub filled with bubbles, and he leaned his head against the bathtub’s side. The sharp scent of the soap was lingering around his nose, and he could feel the scissors mowing down his hair.
“You have really great hair.” The barber deftly touched Roy’s hair, and he looked like an artist creating a piece of work on Roy’s head. “How about trimming your hair down and tying it up in a ponytail? It fits your facial structure perfectly.”
“Do as you wish. Just don’t make the ponytail too long.” Roy leaned against the bathtub nervously. He remembered going bald right after the trial back at the Temple of Melitele. A few months after that, thanks to the hormones, his hair grew over his neck and became long enough to tie into a ponytail. Letho even laughed at him because of that. “A witcher keeping long hair? It’s hot, stuffy, and you get ticks easily.”
“Hey, not like you can understand the people who have hair,” Roy retorted, and Letho ignored him for the whole day.
The barber stopped trimming eventually and wiped Roy’s face and the nape of his neck with a piece of cloth tinged with angelica extract.
Roy got up from the bathtub and took the towel from the servant to cover his lower body, then he got out of the bathtub and left wet footprints on the floor.
Once he dried himself up and had a little break, Hassock came back to look at him again, then he nodded. “The gentleman is more presentable now.” He pointed in a direction. “The gentleman’s shirt, underclothes, long pants, corset, and boots are prepared.”
“What’s with all the clothes?” Roy frowned. “I want to wear my own clothes. And what is it about the corset? Is that made for women? Tell me the truth.”
“Please do not make this difficult for me, gentleman,” Hassock answered, his face deadpan.
Roy dwelled on the matter for a while before he wore the clothes over him, albeit reluctantly. The rough cloth and tight clothes felt stuffy for Roy, as if he were forced to cuff himself. “This is a disaster. I can’t even kill a drowner in this.”
“The gentleman would do well to watch his tongue in front of the queen and princess.” Hassock handed him a petite flask made of glass.
“What is this?”
“This is it. Get this thing away from me.”
Hassock relented in the end, and Roy didn’t have to spray any perfume.
“I shall teach the gentleman the basics of Cintra royalty. The gentleman shall watch as I perform the moves, then he shall copy me.”
“No need for that,” Roy said quietly. Letho had taught him about these back on Mount Carbon.
After a grueling preparation process, Roy was led into a spacious and luxurious chamber. A long chair made of golden silk wood sat in the back-center of the room. A majestic woman with a crown and golden cape was seated upon that chair, and a young girl in a white dress, red boots, long stockings, and a barrette clipping her hair was sitting beside her. She was staring at Roy intently, her eyes sparkling.
After a short introduction, silence fell between them. Roy glanced at the girl furtively and cast Observe on her. I knew it. That’s Ciri.
Age: Eight years old
Status: Princess of Cintra, heir to the throne of Cintra
Elder Blood (Passive): Aen Elle’s most ancient bloodline. Those from this bloodline can control incredible powers. Ciri’s bloodline is only in its early state of awakening. No powers can be controlled.
Lady of Space and Time: Heirs of Elder Blood can travel across dimensions as they please. They can also catch glimpses of the future from time to time and create prophecies. She can only activate this skill in life or death situations.
Child of Fortune: Ciri is born with a powerful instinct that allows her to dodge fatal blows in battle. Whenever she is forced to make an important choice, she can instinctively make the best possible decision.
Source: The heir of the Elder Blood is born with incredible potential for magic. However, before Ciri is trained in the ways of magic, she will repel magic herself. Only when she is faced with dangerous situations will she activate her affinity for magic.’
Roy gasped. So this is the child the Wild Hunt is looking for? The bloodline she inherited from her ancestor, Lara Dorren. He tried to stay calm, but it was a hard thing to do. All of Ciri’s abilities screamed ‘the chosen one,’ and Roy thought he might get the chance to gain some strength if he stayed by her.
Roy cast Observe on Calanthe as well, but she didn’t show any affinity for magic. It was like she was a normal human, but Ciri’s bloodline was almost bursting at the seams. Through Observe, Roy could feel the magic surging within Ciri’s body, though most of her potential was still untapped. She was still in the early stage of her awakening, so she couldn’t control her powers of prophecy and space-time travel.
They say the bloodline skips a generation every time, but Pavetta had some mysterious powers herself.
“Roy of Lower Posada, disciple of Letho from Gulet, do you know why I summoned you?” Calanthe broke his train of thoughts coldly.
“Your Majesty, pardon me, but did you summon me so I could teach Princess Ciri the way of the sword?”
Calanthe shook her head solemnly. “Ciri is still young. Training her in the way of the sword will only harm her body.”
“I am not that weak!” Ciri puckered her lips and glared at her grandmother.
Calanthe ignored Ciri. Instead, she looked at Roy haughtily. “I don’t know why Ciri is interested in you. I would have never allowed a lowly witcher to enter the palace, but you have proven yourself to be a more presentable individual. You did not cross the line during your time in Cintra, nor did you get into the vulgar habits most witchers have. That is why I shall allow you to stay in the castle and care for Ciri along with the other servants. Your duty is to make sure Ciri is happy. After Ciri leaves Cintra, I shall reward you handsomely.”
“I am sorry?” Roy was surprised. She wants a witcher to work as a nanny? “Your Majesty, you might have misunderstood our work. We are great with the sword, but—”
“Are you refusing me?” Calanthe interrupted abruptly.
The fuck is with her? She’s asking me for help, but she acts like I should be grateful about it? What? She got something against witchers? Roy didn’t say that out loud. Instead, he answered politely, “No. It is my honor to be of service to the princess.”
He bowed down, but he was coming up with a plan of his own. Fine, if you think I’m a lowly witcher, then I shall teach your grandkid all the things you don’t want her to know. That’s fair. And you’re going to die in a few years. I don’t have to get angry because of you.
Roy looked at the beautiful little girl, and Ciri grinned innocently.
Calanthe nodded, satisfied the witcher went along with her orders. “I have another question for you. Do you know a white-haired witcher who goes by the name of Geralt?”
Roy shook his head and lied blatantly, “I’m just a fi…sixteen-year-old boy. I don’t know a lot of witchers.” Oh hell no. I’m not getting dragged into this.
Calanthe was slightly disappointed. If it weren’t for Geralt, Pavetta wouldn’t have married Duny and died a horrible death. She despised the White Wolf with every fiber of her being, but he was elusive, and she couldn’t find him no matter what she did. “You must be excited, my dear.” Calanthe patted Ciri’s head. “Be good now, and don’t cause me any more trouble.”
Ciri’s face was red with excitement, and she whipped out a white handkerchief and tossed it to Roy. “To me, dragonslayer! I wish to listen to your stories!”