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The witch and Gretel Chapter 8

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*Clattering.*

The sound of rummaging through something and the savory smell wakes Katarina up. 

Katarina just lifted her eyelids while lying on her side, sticking close to the wall. A child wearing an apron as big as her body was standing in front of the gas stove, while struggling with a frying pan.

Katarina gently swept the empty space next to her with her arm. There was still warmth left. The blanket that was unselfishly covered up to her neck must have been made by Gretel when he woke up.

She slowly blinked and looked at Gretel’s back. Blonde hair, which used to be in the chest, grew up to his waist. No matter how roughly he tied it, it’s a mess even if she looks far away. It’s a waste of such pretty hair…Maybe it’s because he was still a child, but no matter how ambitious she was, there are times that she felt she can’t live without him.

How should I tie his hair today? Let’s braid it on both sides. 

There was a slight smile on Katarina’s mouth.

Katarina fell back to sleep leaning against the wall despite being able to use a spacious bed by herself….

“…Katarina….”

“…Yes….”

Gretel sits by her bedside and calls her carefully. It’s never bad to wake up with the smell of just-prepared warm food. Katarina got out of bed in a good mood and stretched out.

Gretel sat next to Katarina only after she saw her seat on the sofa. It was a measure taken by Katarina because she felt sorry for the short-legged child to come up onto the table chair. 

Of course, Gretel had to clean up all the mess on the sofa and the table. 

But just as Katarina didn’t say it as if it were a good heart, Gretel didn’t complain a little either.

No, it’s not just the sofa and the table that’s organized. It is clothes that have been piled up everywhere with magic to prevent the smell from occurring, and books are not visible. 

It was surprising that even Katarina, who has lived in this apartment for more than 20 years, had room to organize such things here.

The house was still clean even after she got back from going out. It was easy to find things. 

It was well organized, and everytime she asked for something like “Where’s my leather jacket?” and “There must have been an occult book written in Romanian around the middle ages…” Gretel will bring it to her.

Fried egg, croissant from her favorite bakery, coffee and orange with just a little milk. These are all Katarina’s favorites. Foods that would have been on a frying pan or a paper bag at a bakery are also on plates. Katarina didn’t even care about serving a lot of plates anymore. 

Gretel will wash the dishes.

“Katarina, eat some vegetables.”

“You said one multivitamin pill would be enough, but….”

While grumbling, he takes a big bite of salad. Small cut lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and a little chicory. Katarina, who hates vegetables, can manage to eat them. It’s sweet what I sprayed on the top. 

“What’s the dressing you sprayed on here?” She mumbled and took another bite of the salad.

“Mayonnaise. You like it?”

I love it, but was mayonnaise as good before?

“Why is Mayonnaise so sweet?”

“I mixed sugar. I heard that sugar helps replenish mana… I think it’ll look good on you…”

His voice was crawling in as if he was not confident.

“Delicious….”

“…!”

Gretel picked up her head while biting an egg. He sits next to her and looks at Katarina, who chews vegetables without much emotion. 

The wide open eyes are full of expectations.

“Is it good?”

“Yes, it’s delicious.”

It was not an insincere answer, she had a pretty face and a big smile. Katarina focused only on her bread, especially on delicious breakfast, perhaps because others made it without knowing that she was covered with butter. Still, Gretel looked at her expression every time she took a bite of food.

***

“Good morning.”

“Hello, Mr. Schraderin.”

“Is Katarina here?”

When she enters the field team’s office, the team members pretend to have not seen her. Katarina sat next to Singh, who was obsessed with pretzels. It’s a quarter to nine. Gretel’s hair tied up and watched a little bit of drama, but he is much more relaxed than before. That’s probably thanks to the new housekeeper.

Katarina turned on her computer, recalling Gretel’s soft hair that made her feel better just by touching it.

“Katarina, a game of poker?”

“I’m good.”

“Then what….”

Most of the field team members are waiting in the office for what the PM team is doing. The combat team seems to be working after returning the holidays. Katarina frowned as she recalled the combat team members climbing the van with a slim face.

It was an ominous sign that the combat team is busy. If they don’t have enough manpower, the field team will be called up for the next combat mission. Katarina nervously chewed her lips and checked her mailbox.

She couldn’t fight enough. The maximum amount of Mana she could produce could only light candles or summon several nearby ants. It was all Katarina could do to activate the pre-made mana, the kind of mana amplification function or the amplification circuit. In a battlefield where lightning and inevitable bullets fly, if you get hit, you’ll cross the samsara if you let your guard down for a moment!

Thinking so far, Katarina trembled. 

The Field Team is too much, and I wanted to move to an office job as soon as possible. If I become a PM, I will work really hard! The field team won’t even play like this!

But today, she didn’t get an email about changing her position. Instead, Zeta called her.

“Katarina, Alpha. It’s work input. Come with me!”

“I’m still five minutes away from work….”

“…….”

Alpha, who was grumbling, quickly shut up when Zeta glared. Katarina somehow chewed her mouth with an ominous feeling.

Underground of the abandoned building in a corner of New York. She don’t know if it’s okay to call it the basement of the building.

Near the abandoned building was the entrance to an underground facility disguised as a manhole cover. At the entrance to the manhole was a teleport connected to other sewage systems, but Zeta, who had heard some information in advance, easily saw through it and found the basement below it.

Alpha began to grumble again, saying, “Shouldn’t this be done by the reconnaissance team?” but Zeta said nothing. The quick-witted Katrina began to chew her nails. The reconnaissance team would have already come and gone. Now, there is only one thing left to do here, whether it’s a field team, a combat team, or an investigation team.

Team leader Zeta, who is in charge of management, has rarely been directly deployed on-site missions. So Zeta, Alpha, and Catarina, who are comparable to the Witches of the Combat Team, came to the scene together?

Katarina knew herself well. And how other witches rate themselves. Katarina, who has little mana, inevitably became well versed in drawing various efficient magic lines. 

I don’t get confused in a sudden crisis, and I take out the magicians that I need from time to time. 

She didn’t just live a thousand years. In other words, the mana is weak as a mutant, and apart from her self-concerning herself in battle, she is never a witch that other witches can ignore.

In other words, this member is a total combat team!

When Katarina reached the terrible conclusion of the reasoning, she heard Alpha’s urgent voice walking ahead.

“What is this!”

Unknowingly, eyes go over Alpha’s shoulders. Catarina screamed at the terrible scene in front of her.

“Wow….”

She got stuck in Zeta’s hand for less than a second.

“It’s loud.”

“Oops, I, I, I….”

“It’s not surprising.”

What a surprise!

Katarina kept trying to scream and waved her finger. At the tip of her finger was a dead body frozen standing.

“I know this people…Scout team, huh?

While Alpha was searching for the body, Zeta comforted Katarina. 

I think I calmed down a little, so I let it go and I gasped. 

Katarina took a deep breath and glared at Zeta.

“It’s not surprising! This isn’t magic!”

Alpha opened his eyes wide when he heard Catarina.

“Really? This ice…You didn’t do it with this magic.

“As expected, Katarina. I can see it at a glance.”

Katarina frowned and approached the body.

“That witch’s magic invalidation ring, the magic detector clock, it didn’t even work at all. From your facial expression and posture, it looks like you were trying to run away.”

“How long did it take to freeze completely?”

“Ten seconds at most….”

A brief silence has passed. Zeta’s expression was calm, and Katarina was only frowning. Alpha, who finally figured out the situation, breathed in a big breath.

“Then is this science?”

“If you’re lucky, you could be just another animal….”

“Zeta!”

As the fierce eyes of Katarina and Alpha headed toward Zeta, she gave a small sigh.

“No combat team, no reconnaissance team. And who else in the field team can replace the combat team?”

“Why didn’t you give me time to write a suicide note!”

“What are you talking about? You’ll get a life allowance.”

“You can’t even joke….”

While Aung Da-ha left Alpha and Zeta, Katarina carefully examined the bodies. A stiff and awkward posture. It must have hardened from the right waist. It is ambiguous to say that animals attacked. Don’t you usually freeze your heart or feet when you’re hit by an animal that uses this kind of alcohol?

“Zeta, how long’s the reconnaissance going on here?”

“This is all we have.”

Katarina looked at a long corridor that stretched far to the iron gate. There was no way for anything to pop out in the middle. Alpha took the lead while she stopped and looked at the wall. For some reason, I felt ominous. It was just a persimmon, but….

“Wait, Alpha!”

As soon as Katarina grabbed Alpha, a gun popped out of the wall on the right.

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