”I am a certified numbskull, ” Aella hissed under her breath.

She walked up the slightly steep pavement with the coins jingling from the pouch tightened on her waistband.

After much more anxious pleas from her twin sister, Aella decided to pay the witch with the money she had saved for the better part of her life.

It was painful indeed to Aella that she had to receive such a huge loss for something her little sister had done.

She was pushed to do so because she wouldn want to witness the heartbreaking looks on her parents face when the witch comes to take Aurelia for the debt.

Aella had come to the terms that Aurelia was more cherished to her parents than she was.

They bought more pretty dresses, more jewellery and took her to the public more often than they did with Aella, not that she was ever a buff for such extravagant outings anyway.

Her parents were quick to realize that she wasn the elegant or sophisticated noble lady who held tea parties or waved a fan when she laughed so delicately.

They transferred all their energy and time to the younger daughter, Aurelia who seemed to be the perfect lady for a prominent lad.

That came to Aellas favour as she had more time on her hands to improve her swordmanship and she was mostly ignored except when they called for her in dire moments.

So she knew her parents wouldn take the matter lightly when their most precious child would be used for a witchs potion in the nearby future if this debt wasn taken care of immediately.

She stomped her feet on the granite before she looked around the nearly shattered neighbourhood, searching for the witchs workshop around here.

This was called Old Retaril, about a few kilometres from Grand Mandeur, the estate where they lived with much affluent figures.

Old Retaril was mostly silent and vacant due to the abandoned buildings and crumbling infrastructures in each alley.

It was only the most abject slaves that dwelled in the area so she wasn surprised when she was told by some passerbys that the Great Witch resided in the area.

Aella rounded up a corner in the street and nearly stumbled down the hill when her eyes caught something massive and quite shocking to her senses.

At the center of Old Retaril was an enormous building of the grandest architecture in the entire neighbourhood.

The tower which could easily be mistaken for a Castle was coloured with a deep iris shade and golden designs all over it.

It had large walls and a huge door placed in the center with a few unnatural creatures flying around the premises.

Were those vultures? Aella frowned.

Judging from the eerie aura oozing from it, Aella knew instantly this was the Witchs workshop.

She wondered how she never got a sight of the tremendous building from afar considering how its roof nearly touched the sky.

She gripped the pouch in her hand tightly before she pushed the gates open with her frenzy breaths on a steady flow.

She wasn going to hide the fact that she was terrified of what could happen to her in the domain of the dark sorcereress.

She had only heard of the amount of evil this Witch had done to others but never once had she witnessed it forefront.

A mans arm being twisted until it wrapped around his neck to strangle himself, a ladys corpse flying by the house of her husband, and much more horrifying events all tagged themselves with this witch.

If something were to happen to her here, only Aurelias foolishness would be to blame for it all.

Aella reached by the large marble doors and clenched her fist before she rapped her knuckles against its surface.

”Hello? ” She called out and only deadly silence followed as her voice echoed in the air.

She whipped her head back to check if anyone was around here but as far as she could see, the place was vacant.

”Hell- ” her breath was cut off when the rickety door pushed open on its own accord, welcoming her into the bleak habitat.

Her legs stood by the doorway uncertainly, not knowing whether it was proper to enter someones place without permission, but then again, was a witch required of courtesy?

Aella took little steps into the workshop as she cautiously looked around, not wanting to be taken aback by anything out of the ordinary.

As she moved in further, she saw shelves filled with stacks of numerous viles labelled with foreign names she hadn heard of even with her vast knowledge of ancient language and history.

She tried her best not to belch out her contents or yell with shock when she saw eyeballs in a jar filled with a green liquid, to her right were a few jars of ears, fingers and even hearts which beat as though alive.

It struck her that all the items in the jars were moving like they would in a human body.

The eyes blinked severally at her and it took everything within her not to run out, screaming for help.

This was to be expected from a witchs workshop. She couldn really think she would see candies and colourful pastries here, right?

”H-Hello, ” her voice was more hesitant now, wanting to leave the creepy place as soon as she could.

”What are you looking for, child? ”

Aella gasped when a raw voice resonated around her and sent shudders down her spine.

She looked around but saw no one anywhere close to her.

The witch must be somewhere watching her and it made the hair on her neck stand erect.

”I-I am looking f-for the witch, ” she let out, still twisting her head in multiple directions to figure out where that voice came from.

”Behind you, ” a whoosh of wind passed her ears which made her jump up with terror, her heart almost erupting from her chest.

”Ah!! ” She screamed and turned back immediately only to be left dumbfounded by what she saw.

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