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Literature / Release That Witch

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Release That Witch (放开那个女巫) is a March 2016 to July 2019 Chinese Web Serial Novel written by Er Mu.

After 3 straight days working non-stop to meet a work deadline, Cheng Yan, a mechanical engineer and long-time Bookworm, has finally collapsed. However, when he awakes, Cheng Yan finds he's no longer himself, but stuck in the body of Roland Wimbledon, the 4th prince of a Kingdom called Graycastle. Further, "Roland" soon learns he inhabits a Medieval European Fantasy world full of monsters and witches. Now the new Roland and a witch he saves from execution, Anna, must use both magic and science to survive monster attacks, the plots of his other siblings to take the throne of Graycastle for themselves, and the machinations of The Church to capture or kill every witch alive.

A Comic-Book Adaptation began publication in February 2019.


Release That Witch contains examples of:

  • Adaptive Ability: The more witches use their magic, the more magical energy they can store within their bodies, and the more they comprehend the world around them and how their magic feeds into it, the more powerful their abilities become. For instance, after Anna understands how heat works at an atomic level, she gains the ability to form her "flames" into any shape she wants, including planes, lines and other geometric shapes.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The original Roland, generally considered an idiotic, cowardly piece of crap, is slowly revealed to have been horribly bullied by his older siblings as the story goes on, including being locked in the palace dungeon for instance. Similarly, he's said to have not wanted to discriminate against witches as a child, even confessing he wanted to marry one.
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  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The more powerful a monster becomes, the bigger it becomes. It gets to the point that most powerful monsters, like "Hell Beasts", tower above even city walls.
  • Animorphism: Maggie has the magic to turn into an over-sized version of any bird she's ever seen. This eventually extends to include bird monsters as well.
    • Lorgar Burnflame can transform into a large desert wolf.
  • Anti-Magic: God's Punishment Stones stop witches or monsters from invoking any magic other than rare self strengthening types in their range. It's because they're blank magic stones invoking a "no effect" magic that overpowers any other magic in range, and with the proper understanding or ability, even they can be overwritten.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: It's not a strict rule, but most of the nobles who go against Roland tend to be this.
  • Asshole Victim: If somebody suffers a gruesome death on-screen, or worse, there is no doubt that said victim had it coming.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Most armies that challenge Roland's forces have no understanding of their firearms, leading them to rush the "tiny" army of Roland only to run for their lives when they realize they have no way to get close while they're gunned down.
  • The Assimilator: The Church witch and 15th Pope Zero has the ability to force a single target and herself into a Mental World based on the target's memories. If someone is killed inside the world more than their willpower can take, they're then completely absorbed by the other party, body and soul. Zero has used this ability to absorb over 2000 people by the time we're introduced to her.
  • Awful Truth: 95% of the continent has been conquered by a magical race of Demons, who after 2 wars 1000 and 500 years ago have pushed humanity onto one final tiny sliver of land. Further, the time for the Demons to create a new installation that will allow them breathe in the remaining 5% of the continent is only 5-10 years away.
    • And there's also a third faction of eldritch Deep Ones that is currently fighting the demons on their turf, and both factions are fighting for an artifact in human territory that will destroy the opposing factions when activated by The Chosen One of their species.
      • This has happened before, to other species, before the current inhabitants of the world.
  • Badass Army: Roland's First Army is the strongest army in the Human Continent and has a fighting chance of defeating the Demons.
  • The Beastmaster: The witch Honey has the ability to train animals to obey set commands. Roland eventually uses this to train dozens of birds to be letter carriers, creating the first form of high speed communication.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: In order to survive and protect his lands, Roland has to go through his brother Timothy who has appointed himself king, then The Church trying to kill all the witches who Roland's made his allies and finally the Demons who are hell bent on wiping out humanity.
  • Bold Explorer: Lightning's father Thunder is regarded by the people of the Fjords as the greatest explorer, a title they value highly.
  • Bury Your Gays: Averted with Roland's siblings. Of the four of them, only Roland's youngest sister Tilly, who is in a relationship with her female protector Ashes, survives. The heterosexual Gerald, Timothy and Garcia meanwhile all die.
  • The Cake Is a Lie: The Church usually just murders any street rat they promise money to after the job is done, rather than actually paying them.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The "gold eyed witch" who Wendy reveals in her backstory helped her to escape from the Church orphanage that raised her eventually shows up again many chapters later as Ashes, the main enforcer of Roland's sister Tilly.
  • The Chosen One: The ancient witches believed in each age one person is chosen to lead the people in a "Battle of Divine Wills" and commune with the gods In the current age, it was at first Zero, and then Roland after he turned her assimilator abilities against her.
  • The Church: The Church, the main religious institution within the setting which supports the elimination of monsters, witches and all other magical things. They're eventually revealed to be the remnants of an ancient witch organization devoted to fighting the Demons out in the Wild Wilderness, who created anti-witch propaganda to help in the capture and sacrifice of witches, due to their blood being necessary for a magical Super Soldier program.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Temperature controlling witches get this as Required Secondary Powers. The flame controlling Anna for instance can stand in the middle of super-heated liquid hot iron without even breaking out into a sweat, and the cold controlling Agatha can stand out in the middle of a blizzard or cover herself in layers of ice cold enough to create liquid nitrogen without suffering from hypothermia or frozen limbs.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: The God in Roland's World oversees the Battle of Divine Will and wants it to continue regardless of who wins and who loses.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: The rest of the known universe was destroyed by a Gone Horribly Right galaxies-spanning science project to create a tear in reality in search of a new natural force, that came to be known as 'magic', that could aid in preventing the eventual heat death of said universe. 'God' meanwhile is actually an AI whose final orders were to bio-engineer and cultivate a species that can survive in this new Eldritch universe, using an artificial space colony based on the previous universe's physics as their breeding ground. Also, magic stones are the crystallized bodies of previous attempts that the AI deemed failures and wiped out to free up resources for new experiments.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In almost every battle (before hell itself comes out to play), we get A Day in the Spotlight of Roland's enemy of the week, boasting about how they're going to use 'courage' or 'tactics' or 'diplomacy' to squish the upcoming peasant army. Then they're torn apart by advanced warfare.
  • David vs. Goliath: Roland starts out in a small mining village of only 2000 people, where he eventually has to start challenging regional lords, countries and multi-country spanning religions with hundreds of thousands or millions of subjects a piece.
  • Dawn of an Era: Roland defeating The Church, and endeavoring to promote industrialization and democracy all point to a brighter future for humanity. He also does this to witches, creating a society where they are accepted and not persecuted.
  • Death's Hourglass: Downplayed. Momo has the ability to estimate the lifespan of any living being based on any observable information. So while it can't anticipate unforseen accidents, and the number will change if observable conditions change, it's incredibly useful for evaluating the benefits or harm a new government policy can have for the population at large.
  • Decapitated Army: Since the God's Punishment Army are basically brainless killing machines, without a commander, they'll just stand around doing nothing. The Church employs various methods to try and hide their commanders as a result.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After being defeated by Roland, Zero ends up serving as his "roommate" and ally in the Mental World he eventually gets access to.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Lotus has the ability to control the Earth around her, reshaping it into houses, walls, or any other shape she can imagine. She can't alter its fundamental properties though, so materials with low cohesion like sand will still fall apart easily no matter how hard she forces them together.
  • Divide and Conquer: During the First Battle of Divine Will, the demons had the humans turn on their witch allies by promising to spare them if they did this. The humans agreed, but the promises were all hollow, leading to humanity's ultimate defeat.
  • Dream World: Roland eventually gains the ability to enter an illusory world that is a recreation of the contemporary Earth he came from whenever he goes to sleep after consuming Zero by turning her magical assimilator ability against her. All the souls Zero consumed, and an innocent child version of Zero herself, also reside in this world with him, though they all no longer remember their past lives and act like they've always lived in this modern dream world.
    • It's later revealed that the demons also have access to their own version of Dream World, but only the more powerful members can use it, or risk losing their individuality and their souls. They use it to get information or communicate with other demons.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: A lot of second or third tier characters are offed rather unceremoniously out of the blue. For example, the story was building up Alicia to be a supporting character before she's killed by Ashes in her second appearance while Garcia is driven out of Greycastle by Timothy and then killed by Zero with very little fuss.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After five years of bloody wars and arms races, the humans and demons work together to reach God, and convince them to stop the Battle of Divine Will mass-experiment in favor of exploring the rift in the space-time continuum.
  • Easy Logistics: Averted. The story stresses the importance of logistics in warfare that it prompted Roland to invent Blackriver, a heavily armored railway artillery during the Taquila War and the Hump Steam Truck for the logistics aspect in the Third Battle of Divine Will.
  • Elite Army: Roland's First Army are extremely disciplined, technologically advanced and literate for that era that many characters in the series are baffled that these people were once farmers, miners and hunters.
  • The Enemy Weapons Are Better: Inverted. Even the Demons are interested of learning how Roland's firearms work, acquiring them and tasking the Everwinter nobles to try and duplicate them. Not to mention that almost every noble, whether surrendered or still fighting against Roland, tries to learn the secret of creating such firearms.
  • Fantastic Racism: Witches are persecuted by the Church as emissaries of The Devil for having magical abilities. It's actually a complete sham; the Church just needed an excuse to murder witches whenever they want as part of their magical Super Soldier program.
    • Humans are on the receiving end of this from the Demons, who call humans insects and look down upon them for being inferior beings and not even their main enemy in the war.
  • Feel No Pain: God's Punishment Army soldiers are impervious to pain, making them able to fight even after suffering horrible injuries like broken limbs. They can't feel anything, which slowly drives many of the witches who use their bodies to fight the Demons insane.
  • Flight: Lightning has the magic ability to float and fly through the air. Maggie has the ability to turn herself into any bird or bird like creature.
  • Floating Continent: The Demon's superweapon is this, though Roland gains access to it later with the help of Eleanor and 2 Demon generals and plans it to use as a mobile aircraft carrier.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Edith Kant's title as the Pearl of the Northern Region may not seem scary, but she's as graceful as any lady and as ruthless as any warrior in the battlefield. She doesn't even sugarcoat words and she's Roland's main strategist, even handling Roland's wetwork.
  • Food as Bribe: After Roland creates ice cream sandwiches, it usually becomes one of the rewards for doing any particularly dangerous or annoying work inside his inner circle.
    • Evelyn's ability evolution led to the creation of Chaos Drinks, a kind of premium drink so good they are often used in lieu of money in bets or bribes.
  • Forever War: Roland and co. find proof that the Battle of Divine Will may have been repeating for longer than anyone previously thought, and that possibly countless other species have gone extinct over the centuries, or even millennia, of warfare.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Church is trying to take over all of the four kingdoms by destabilizing them, Roland and his siblings are each coming up with various plans to take control of their own regions of the lands, various witch organizations are trying to secretly find their own places to live free from persecution, the Demons are getting ready to invade the remaining Human lands, and monsters are evolving to a point where they're becoming a threat to everyone.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Of the Medieval Fantasy genre as a whole.
    • First and foremost, Witch Hunts are an outright war crime regardless of how 'evil' the witch in question is. The witch hunts are frequently used as an excuse to enslave, rape, and/or murder any woman the guard or church chooses, and all blame for collateral damage is automatically pinned on the witches. And even if they manage to catch a real witch, she almost always uses her powers in self-defense or because she has been enslaved to a noble or gang lord, and is tortured to death for kicks. And finally, the general assumption that witches captured by the church are always killed? That's a smokescreen to amass an army of brainwashed battlemages, along with homunculi powered by sacrificing 'dud' witches. This army, along with the excuse of a holy crusade, is used to destructively conquer the kingdoms.
    • Second, feudalism in general. Corrupt nobles are bad enough, but the effects of Medieval Stasis have corrupted every level of society: The priests undermine royalty and murder unbelievers to strengthen their cause. Lazy knights and mercenaries are generally useless aside from intimidation or to Rape, Pillage, and Burn, and are unable to adapt in the face of new tactics and technologies. The guard patrol is paid in bribes because their nobility-sponsored paychecks are atrocious, and they take their frustration out on the people under their jurisdiction. Even the majority of the commoners are forced to join gangs and mobs to keep themselves fed in winter. The main reason why half the continent flocks to Roland's tiny Border Town is because until they saw machines replace enslavement, they didn't realize how horrible their lives collectively were.
    • And Medieval Stasis in general. People inevitably change the world; no matter how oppressive the culture, there's always a need for bigger guns. Even without Roland, the country was on the verge of inventing prototype firearms anyway. So how can millennia pass without any net gain in development? Because their culture is nuked back to the dark ages when far more advanced factions get an opportunity every 500 years to invade their world and wipe them out.
  • Harem Genre: Averted. Despite the title and the witches themselves have more than enough reasons to like Roland, only 2 of the witches (Anna & Nightingale) fall for him with Roland choosing to marry both of them. Word of God admits it is due to the author's wife intervention of not wanting to be a harem, and instead giving the witches their own stories and roles that doesn't not include Roland. There are implications that other witches are attracted to him, but do not pursue this and cleanly give up very quickly because it's obviously impossible due to their status, infertility and Roland having very obviously chosen Anna.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Many magic powers most consider "worthless" end up having massive applications after being put towards Roland's industrial revolution.
    • For instance, Soraya's "magic paint" ability eventually evolves to allow her to create "covering" compounds of various types rather than just colors, which Roland uses to replace the entire plastics and rubber industry, leading to the creation of bike tires, body armor, hydrogen balloons, an entire heating and plumbing system, and more thanks to a single ability.
    • Roland leverages his eventual Dream World ability into a Photographic Memory and functionally turning himself into The Sleepless, who can continue planning all the specifics of his One-Man Industrial Revolution even in his sleep.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Discussed. After learning the Awful Truth of their world, Roland tells Nightingale the general myth of the elves, a race that is pushed into isolation due to the proliferation of a larger, more technologically advanced one and how it illustrates the need of humanity to push technological advancement and industrialization as fast as possible to avoid ending up in the same situation with the Demons.
  • Hopeless War: Implied in the ruins found by Roland near the Ironsand City, suggesting that there will always be a Battle of Divine Will regardless of who wins the war.
  • Hot Witch: Witches are superior in beauty in contrast to normal females in the series. The beauty of the witch correlates to how powerful she is, as the Transcendents especially Alice are considered divinely beautiful.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: For all the brag of the Everwinter nobles that they only need 3 days to master a gun, they only managed to graze 1 person out of 50 in the First Army against the coalition of 1000, 200 of which are armed with First Army's weapons.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Andrea has the ability to control the power and trajectory of a projectile with magic, making her able to hit just about 100% of the time where she likes, and cause even greater damage the closer she gets to a target.
  • It Amused Me: After living for over 200 years, a lot of Zero's motivation for doing anything, including waging war against Roland and his advanced technology, is just getting the chance to do something new.
  • Jerkass Gods: Anyone who actually manages to win the Battle of Divine Will just gets wiped out by the God of their world, who then repeats the process with a new set of races. The "Radiation Clan" for instance was destroyed by a giant flood.
  • Keystone Army: The Demons require the red mist generated by a magical obelisk to even breathe, so destroying one will instantly make all the Demons within a region suffocate.
  • Kill 'Em All: Of the 40+ members of the original Witch Cooperation Association story-line, exactly 6 survive to the end, one of which actually had a name before that point.
  • Killer Game Master: There is no reward for winning the Divine Will as implied in one of the ruins Roland found and God even sets out to destroy the Dream World when Roland's interference is affecting the Battle Of Divine Will.
  • Last Fertile Region: The Four Kingdoms and the Fjords the story take place in are the only part of the planet that hasn't been taken over by the Demons, and the last place where Humans still survive.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The nobles of Wolfheart and Everwinter becomes this after the Demons invaded their territory just to have a fighting chance of beating Roland's First Army. Not that it matters to the First Army though, as the Demons are more troublesome for them.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Expected for a kingdom building novel.
  • Magikarp Power: Many magic powers with limited applications end up being quite powerful as they "evolve". For instance, Maggie's ability to turn into birds ends up making her quite deadly once she realizes she can use it to turn into massive deadly bird monsters as well.
  • Magitek:
    • Downplayed through most of the story. Rather than creating technology powered by magic, Roland employs the magical abilities of the various witches he allies with to help in the creation mundane real world technology like firearms, steam engines, bikes, central heating, plumbing systems and so on.
    • Eventually played straight with Ancient witches and the current Demons, who developed actual magic based technology, like magic stones.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Many witches gain unnatural hair colors like green, blue, bright red, and so on, and/or eye colors like gold, silver, red, etc.
  • Medieval Stasis: Roland's world is still stuck in a feudal state for centuries on end because the demons keep destroying human civilization every 500 years or so.
  • Mental World: Zero's magical assimilation ability allows her to pull herself and her target into an imaginary world based on her target's memories. Roland eventually gets his own mental world based on his memories after defeating Zero and absorbing her instead, though it takes on a more Dream World quality as he can only access it in his sleep.
  • Might Makes Right: The biggest problem that plagues the continent before Ronald arrives, everybody (nobles, witches and clergy) all measure the witches' power based on combat and nothing else.
  • Mind Hive: Zero's mind continues to contain the souls of the 2000+ other beings she's consumed using her magic ability. It's noted to have made her somewhat mentally unstable. Roland similarly gains access to all these souls and Zero's too after turning Zero's magic against her and consuming her, though they manifest through a Mental World he can only access in his sleep.
  • Morton's Fork: After defeating Timothy, Roland gathers up all the ministers and administrators who had been working under him, all of whom are basically cronies since all the honest nobles had been replaced for disloyalty towards Timothy. There are about fifty altogether. He gives them a choice: Play a game with him or be shot. The game is that they will be asked ten questions and if they lie, they will be hanged, imprisoned or have their property confiscated. The first question asked is basically 'Did you commit serious war crimes while under my brother?' Since Nightingale is a Living Lie Detector, any liars will be punished with 100% accuracy. Anyone who tells the truth to an question like this will be executed and be hanged, imprisoned or have their property confiscated. By the end, only seven have answered every question truthfully with no terrible crimes committed or overlooked and only two of them have never abused their positions as nobility to harass commoners, most likely because their roles were extremely minor and they lacked the opportunity.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Sir Weimar is neither an idiot nor terribly fond of Timothy, but he's sworn to protect King's City as its guardian knight.
  • No Name Given: The guide Yorko meets while trying to free a witch from an Auction of Evil in the Kingdom of Dawn is only known as "No 76" for several arcs.
  • Nuke 'em : Roland decides to use nukes against the Demons, which extinguishes their fighting spirit and chances at winning the war against the former.
  • Older Than They Look: The cast tends to look much younger than they actually are in the manhua, such as Nana being fifteen but looking no more than nine or ten, Anna is about to hit eighteen but looks around fourteen and Tilly looks like a child, but is actually twenty. This appears to be an art quirk: Even Tilly is never indicated to look younger than her actual age in the novel. It may be an intentional decision: Characters like Nana are always referred to and treated as children in the novel despite their age, so this may be an attempt to emphasize this.
  • One-Man Industrial Revolution: Played with. Most of the scientific inventions come straight out of Roland's head, including concrete, steam engines, hot air balloons, smokeless gunpowder, electric lighting, and more. And even concepts already discovered in the setting, like black powder or sulfuric acid creation, are only moved to industrial scale production and strength thanks to Roland.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Most witches stop using their given names and use nicknames instead, given many were ostracized by society for years. For instance, Nightingale's given name is Veronica Gilen, but given her family used and betrayed her, she prefers everyone just call her Nightingale now. Echo was similarly Drow Silvermoon, but stopped using her given name after her entire family was wiped out by other clans.
  • Opposites Attract: Ashes and Tilly seem utterly different at first glance. One has physical strength magic and the other mental increased intelligence magic, their hair colors and most of their clothing are black and white respectively, one grew up an orphan an the other a princess. And yet despite all this, the two of them still ended up in a relationship that's been going on seemingly for years before we meet them in the story proper.
  • Organic Technology: Demons use monsters and monster parts to make magic stones, Siege Engines, air tanks, and so on. Magical stone deposits also require the blood of magical beings like Demons, hybrid monsters or witches to cut.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Souls seem to exist in this setting separate of the body, as Cheng Yan gets transferred into the body of Roland Wimbledon upon the former's death by poisoning in chapter 1. The eventual leader of the Church, Zero, has the ability to absorb the soul of any enemy she overpowers mentally, and the remnants of the ancient witches are revealed to developed the technology to transfer their souls into the Soulless Shells of God's Punishment Army Soldiers.
  • Peace Through Superior Fire Power: Roland implied this during his first official conversation to Valkries when he asked for information of the Demon Western Front.
  • Photographic Memory:
    • The witch Scroll can perfectly recall everything that has ever occurred in her life. Every event, every image, and every piece of text, and temporarily recreate them in the forms of magical "books". In one chapter she notes she has often felt Blessed with Suck because of this, as the more traumatic parts of her life can still be instantly remembered as if they just happened.
    • The Mental World Roland eventually gains gives him this indirectly, as it's filled with recreations of all his experiences and those of the 2000+ people Zero had consumed in her life, even the ones he can't quite remember anymore. This allows him to perfectly recall the periodic table of elements, that he could previously only half remember, by opening an appropriate chemistry book in his dreamscape.
  • Rotating Protagonist: The story is primarily focus on Roland, but there are a lot of chapters that give a limelight to not only his allies and enemies, but also the civilians living in this world.
  • Powers as Programs: Magic stones exist that have specific abilities any witch can use as long as they inject magic power into them, even if they're completely different from their own unique ability, such as momentary Super Strength, Flight or Shock and Awe The technology was created by the Demons using magical stone processing Organic Technology monsters.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • It doesn't matter if you have the biggest army or a clever strategy or even a witch on your side - if your enemy is armed and well trained with better weapons and technology, has an emphasis in long-term logistics and strategy, and you don't bother to learn about them, you're going to die horribly.
    • Even a prince can run out of money if he doesn't budget properly.
    • For the "Contest of Worth", usually the protagonist will have to destroy his competitors one by one. However, some competitors (Timothy & Garia) are as hungry for victory, some (Tilly, Roland and maybe Gerald) feel the victory itself is not worth the risk and other outside factors (the church). Thus for the entire contest, Gerald executed by Timothy at the earliest stage, Garcia is killed by Zero, Tilly chose to ally with Roland since there are bigger priorities to focus on. In the end, Roland only has to beat Timothy to win.
  • Salt the Earth: Roland's enemies, particularly Timothy loyalists, when they realize they can't possibly win a straight-up fight, or even a guerrilla war, decide to torch the cities they rule rather than let Roland conquer them, even if it's ultimately self-destructive, just to spite him.
    • The demons do this unintentionally when they pump Red Mist into the soil. Although they do this purely to establish a site where their troops can live, it makes the soil barren and toxic for just about everything else.
  • Scam Religion: The witch hunting Church in the story is actually using trained witches of their own known as Pure Witches and was originally created by witches, as a means to capture and sacrifice any witch deemed to have lost the Superpower Lottery to make more magical Super Soldiers for the coming The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Shapeshifter Baggage: Downplayed. When Maggie tries to turn into birds smaller than her human self, she retains part of her excess mass, making her turn into an over-sized pigeon for instance.
  • Shock and Awe: Sharon's witch ability is generating electrical currents which she uses to apprehend criminals as part of the police force in Neverwinter.
  • Shout-Out: Release That Witch has a number of references to works by other creators.
    • During Roland's first Month of the Demons, he was initially worried that the demonic beasts were infectious like the monsters in Resident Evil. To his relief, Iron Axe dispelled Roland's concerns by stating that men killed by the creatures remain as corpses.
    • Roland mentions the Avengers when he thought to himself how to manage the witches with various superpowers after Anna's first Day of Awakening.
    • At the end of the interview for the surviving members of the witch association, Roland couldn't hide his excitement by humming the Mandarin pop song "Super Star", when he found out about Mystery Moon's power. The lyrics "You are electricity; you are light" exactly correlates with his vision on how the witch's magnetic magic will bring electricity and light to the Border Town.
    • Roland asks Lightning if her name's Ezreal, a blond haired flying character from League of Legends, when they first meet.
    • Roland frequently mentions Bear Grylls in his mind for anything related to survival in the wild, mostly to Lightning's exploration.
    • Roland eventually gives Nightingale a white robe to wear, saying its the best costume for an assassin to blend in, in a reference to the Assassin's Creed series.
    • Zero has the exact same name and appearance as the main character of Drakengard 3. The author even confirmed she was based on the Drakengard character.
    • The first game Roland introduces to the Witch Union is Gwent from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Gwent: The Witcher Card Game.
    • In Zero's Mental World, Roland attempts to create an Iron Man armor to fight, only to realize he can only generate weapons that he understands the actual mechanics of.
    • Roland obliquely gives the 40 man raid dungeons of World of Warcraft as an example of how regular people working together can overcome beings far more powerful than them.
    • Roland's thoughts on Sharon is exceptionally familiar on a certain electricity generating young lady patrolling the streets and arresting criminals.
    • When No. 76 formally introduces herself as Phyllis to Roland, the latter asked if she needed some tactical eyepieces.
    • Roland creates a copy of Ashbringer from World of Warcraft for Ashes as a parting gift when she first visits Border Town.
  • Soulless Shell: The God's Punishment Army soldiers lose all their free will and intelligence, and just obey any order they are given by a designated superior It's to the point that the remnants of the ancient witches can transfer their souls into the Punishment soldiers' bodies to create a Super Soldier witch.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Played with. Roland and others eventually suss out each witch's magic ability is entirely an expression of their understanding of it and it's relation to the natural world. So, the more a witch learns about scientific subjects like physics, chemistry, biology and so forth, the more they can control their magic to do previously impossible things.
  • Super Intelligence: The magic of Roland's younger sister Tilly Wimbledon just makes her hyper smart, able to learn massive amounts of new concepts in minutes and manage massive amounts of information. By the age of 20, she's apparently read every book in the royal library, and is rather excited to start learning Roland's otherworldly scientific knowledge mainly because it's something actually new for her.
  • Super Soldier: God's Punishment Army, a legion of superhuman warriors who have Super Strength, Feel No Pain, and obey orders absolutely.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: When Ashes awakened to her magical Super Strength ability, she gained slightly glowing yellow eyes.
  • Superpower Lottery: Regularly discussed. Many women can become witches, but their abilities all depend on their cognition of magical energy, making some able to use far more magic or have far more utilitarian abilities than others. Ancient witches considered "Extraordinary" witches that have self strengthening abilities like Super Strength or Super Intelligence the most powerful. Other groups consider witches with combat abilities the best. Roland considers any witch that can help in his ongoing One-Man Industrial Revolution the most valuable, as technology can empower witches and normal people alike.
  • Sterility Plague: Due to magic's tendency to mutate the body in various ways, any woman who becomes a witch loses their ability to reproduce with "regular" humans. This in turn makes the two "races" intrinsically dependent on each other, as witches can only be produced by humans and humans need the powers of witches (in one form or another) to help defend against magical monsters.
  • The Strategist: Edith Kant, the Pearl Of the Northern Region, is Roland's main strategist after her introduction and has scored wins against The Church, Appen Moya's coalition and the Demons with Roland's First Army.
  • Teens Are Short: Teenaged girls are often described as being little girls, including one scene where a soon to be witch is fighting off bullies who are stated to be twice her height. So she's probably only seven or eight, right? No, she's in her mid teens, as the next scene confirms.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The warrior witch Ashes and Roland's sister Tilly. Ashes is a rough, aggressive warrior who use a BFS and has the magic power of Super Strength, while Tilly is a small, well-mannered princess with the power of Super Intelligence. Despite their utter differences, the two are almost always with each other, to the point it's eventually revealed they're in a relationship.
  • Tragic Bigot: Most, if not all, of the Witches, aside from the ones raised by the Church, hated humans due to their persecution until the arrival of the current Roland, who changed the public reputation of the witches to a positive one.
  • Undying Loyalty: Many, if not all, of Roland's subordinates feel this way towards him because of all the benefits and trust he has entrusted to them. Some of them have even gone so far as to say that they would gladly sacrifice their lives for Roland, if the need ever arises.
    • The same can be said for witches under Tilly's command, with many of them choosing to remain under Tilly's "Sleeping Spell" guild even after a permanent alliance with Roland.
  • Useless Useful Spell: What many of the witch's powers are, but this is because most people only see what witch powers are good for combat and disregard anyone else. Roland is able to see much more practical uses for them, making much more use out of the non combat powers to help his people.
  • Vague Age: The story can be pretty vague about how old characters are, often because they're put under the blanket term 'little girl' which apparently includes anyone up to legal adulthood. Lightning, for example, is always called a little girl and considered too young to drink with it later being noted that she's reaching puberty. Then about a year later she's an adult. And before you think people just reach adulthood at a younger age, characters who are around fourteen to fifteen are also described as little girls. Also, an explicitly adult but immature witch, Maggie, is also lumped under that label, making it unclear whether she actually is over 20~ or if the author changed her age without saying anything.
  • Vestigial Empire: The Witch Empire which ruled the continent 800 years ago has been a husk of its former selves after the relentless advance of the Demons during the 2nd Battle Of Divine Will plus the Civil War between Alice and Natalia's factions and Eleanor's apparent sacrifice to end it. After it became the Church, it hunted the very same people who created it for its Super Soldier program and the final straw of this empire was after its massive defeat against Roland's First Army.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ashes and Andrea, Tilly's two best combat witches. The two are constantly teasing each other over who Tilly is more pleased with at the moment, their different personalities, their previous lives as a wanderer and a noble, and other minor things, while also working for the same leader and being excellent at fighting side by side.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Roland tells Anna he wishes to hire her forever.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: What stopped the Demons from wiping out humanity centuries ago. They require a Red Mist to even breathe, and the only way to create a red mist generator is to wait for the magic concentration to peak every 400 to 500 years or so. As such, they can be killed by damaging the red mist tanks they use to move outside red mist areas, and destroying one of their red mist generating obelisks will instantly turn them into a Keystone Army.
  • Wild Wilderness: Beyond the Impassable Mountain Range is all unexplored wild lands. They're actually the former lands of mankind, that were left to rot as the Demons slowly pushed mankind further and further onto the edge of the continent.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Inconsistently applied. It's noted that magic power lengthens lifespan significantly and slows aging. However, the author describes witches over thirty as though they're significantly older than described. The exception comes with the Taquila witches in the Dream World who are in their twenties or older but mostly appear to be high school students due to slowed aging.


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