Tea Leaves and Purple Robes

Old World Panic

Match Thirty-Two: Old World Panic:

-Prussia-

They’ve woken up. But only two of them. They can’t find the third one. There is still time. But where do we start? We now know who is behind them waking up. But how do you take down a coven of witches?

I made some calls to some churches in my area. So far, only three of them have responded. To my relief, they are taking me seriously. Turns, they have been keeping their eyes on Mam for quite some time now.

“They are on the move again,” one of the priests said.

“Where?” I asked.

“Most of them are in England,” he said. “One is in Japan.”

“Where in Japan?” I asked. The priest got on his laptop and opened a map that he had saved.

“We tracked her down to Ikebukuro,” he said. Why did that sound familiar?

“What’s all the way out there?” I asked.

“The Gates to the Apocalypse,” the priest said. “Many other things too. I sent two of my ministers to look into it.”

“How is that going?” I asked. The priest frowned.

“I haven’t heard back from them in three days,” he admitted. He paused when he noticed the look on my face.

“Oh, don’t worry,” the priest said. “It’s probably nothing.”

“Is there anything we can do here?” I asked. He looked deep into my eyes.

“You want to help us hunt the witches?” the priest asked. I nodded. He stood up from his computer.

“And you are serious about this?” he asked. I clenched my fists by my side.

“Yes,” I said. The priest gave me a calm smile.

“Come with me,” he said. I followed him to the back of the church.


-Austria-

Feliciano creeps me out now. I barely see him around. But when I do, there’s something not right about him. His soul is gone. I don’t know how to get it back yet. Gilbert has been going around to different churches for help.

My phone rang beside them.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Roderich?” I heard over the other line. A confused look came over my face.

“Lovino?” I asked. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Feliciano,” he said. I sat up in bed.

“What happened? What did he do now?” I asked. There was a pause on the other line.

“He’s staying out late at nights,” Lovino said. That didn’t sound like much on the surface.

“Did he do anything last night?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he said. I frowned as I tried to think.

“How many times has this happened now?” I asked.

“I don’t know anymore,” he said. “I had to call that German bastard for help.” His voice trembled as he spoke. I started shushing him on instinct.

“Come down,” I said. Lovino went silent. I took a breath.

“I will see what I can do,” I said. By that, I went I was going to a church. Hey, if Gilbert could get help from there. So could I.

I waited until after Sunday mass. I walked up to the priest.

“Excuse me,” I said. He looked at me through his glasses.

“What is it, my son?” he asked.

“It’s my friend,” I said. “He has sold his soul to the devil.” The priest stumbled back with shock.

“What?” he asked.

“It’s really bad,” I said. “Can’t you help him?” The priest straightened up his glasses.

“Come with me,” he said. I followed him to back.


-Hungary-

That is now Feliciano. It’s a creepy young man pretending to be him. I have been keeping an eye on him. He’s not even eating his favorite food. Feliciano tried to hot on me once. I tried to laugh it off.

“I mean it,” he said. “You are pretty hot. Does Roderich pay you attention?” He reached forward to touch me. I slapped away his hand.

“Feliciano, stop!” I shouted. He gave me that smile that made me want to vomit.

“I was just kidding!” he said. I didn’t like his “joke”.

From there, I knew what I needed to do.

I waited for Roderich to come home. I stood up when I heard the door open.

“I’m home,” he said.

“Welcome back,” I said. I took him into my arms and hugged him. He seemed disheartened.

“What’s wrong?” I asked. Roderich shook his head.

“I talked to the priest,” he said.

“What did he say?” I asked.

“He can help, but there is a catch,” Roderich said. I let go of him.

“What?” I asked. He took a breath and told me what the priest said.


-Spain-

I too have to do what I need to do. I went downstairs to my basement. I unlocked the door and went inside. I looked at the back room and found the giant chest. Hello old friend. I walked up and unlocked it. Dusty old books sat inside. I picked up one of them. The title was in Latin, but I could still read it. This was a book of old magic. God, I haven’t used this in years. I blew on the cover. I opened the book.

Where should I start? Gilbert told me that a coven of witches was behind this. They keep growing stronger by the minute. They are starting to scatter out. We have to try and stop them. I could turn to the church but it wouldn’t be enough. Besides, Gilbert and Roderich have that angle covered. Maybe I should follow that path too.

But first I have to try my own way as a start.


-China-

I have to protect my son. They said that witches are after him. Ju would have my head if something were to happen to him. I can’t blame her. Jing is her baby after all.

I scooped up the child in my arms. We’re always holding him. I think it’s because we are trying to protect him in a way. We’ve already had people breaking into our house twice. Ju isn’t letting that happen again. Everyone on the clan has been on the lookout.

“What are you still doing up?” I heard from the doorway. I turned my head to see Ju watching us.

“Oh, I was just checking on the baby,” I said. Ju walked over to my side. She looked down at our son.

“Precious, isn’t he?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I said. A thought crossed my mind.

“Say, let’s go out tomorrow,” I said. “Just the three of us.” Ju looked at me funny at first. I put up my hand.

“I mean, if you want to,” I said.

“No, it’s fine,” she said.

“Right,” I said. We looked down at Jing as he slept in my arms.


-Belgium-

I don’t know what’s going on but I don’t like it. Everyone is heading to their local churches for help with what’s going on. But I have a different problem.

Someone keeps sending my letters to my house. There is no return address or anything. The first one came on a Sunday back in summer. I should’ve thrown it away then and there. But curiosity got the better of me. There was only one word inside.

Heks

I didn’t even know what that meant at first. It started to come together through more letters. I can’t get them to stop. I think someone is calling out to me. I don’t like it. I just got another letter today. It’s now that I know what I must do.

I picked up the phone and made the call.

“Yes, it’s me,” I said. “I am ready. Tell me what I need to do.”


-Poland-

I sat in my office playing with the empty chamber in my gun. We’re going witch-hunting, huh? Well, well, well. That should be interesting.

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