The clothes shop had a moderately-sized backyard. After they crossed through the door, Black Eleven stopped and turned to the stable to the right. A burly man was already waiting there. Three horses were in the stable. under the railing was a black hole.
"Sir, you’re here." Two men in black were already standing in the basement.
"Is it inside?" Black Eleven asked.
Anfey walked over, and the two men bowed in unison. "My lord," they said.
"When did I become your lord?" Anfey asked, amused.
"Anfey, now is not the time for jokes," Black Eleven said. He walked into the basement. It was a poorly furnished room with only a bed and a table. Two candles were on the table, lighting the room dimly. There was a man on the bed. He was breathing heavily.
Black Eleven lifted the cover sheet. The wound was not dressed, and his body was covered with blood. Some blood was dry and crusted, some was fresh. The worst wound was on his abdomen. His stomach was slashed through, and through the wound his organs were visible.
Anfey frowned. Injuries like this may be treatable in a modern hospital, but in a place like this, the man was as good as dead.
"Is the news accurate?" Black Eleven asked softly.
"Did you report to the lord general?"
Black Eleven sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. Anfey stood there quietly, lost for words. In a situation like this, he should ask what had happened, and have Black Eleven recount the event for him. Then he needed to emphasize how urgent the situation was and how they needed more men. Then he would volunteer to sacrifice himself for the empire. The actual events may differ, but the bulk of the story would remain the same.
The problem was Anfey was not stupid, nor was he someone who treated Maho Empire as his home. He wanted to assassinate the princess because he wanted to remind his companions that they could help their nation without returning home.
In this strange world, Anfey placed his own safety above all else. He didn’t mind taking risks, but he needed a good reason to do so. He had caused the chaos in Blackwater City, and it seemed like he was working for Maho Empire. However, he had his own ideas and plans. Of course, he was going to fight for Maho Empire anyways. He couldn’t risk angering Saul.
When he first met Saul, he was only a normal kid to Saul. The care and friendship Saul offered him was unconditional. He could forsake benefits offered to him by the empire, but he could not forget the kindness Saul offered him.
Anfey made a clear standard for himself. He would work for Maho Empire, but would do nothing that could potentially endanger himself. Black Eleven must have a reason for bringing him here. He would help, but he couldn’t let himself agree to anything too dangerous.
"I didn’t realize how much Shansa Empire had put into this war," Black Eleven said.
Anfey stood there calmly, staring.
"Yes, sir. Blackania City is under siege."
"What should we do? Watch Blackania fall?" Black Eleven asked, shaking his head.
"We must do something, sir!" one of the men said.
Anfey wanted to sigh, but doing so would put himself in an awkward situation. He remained quiet and stood there without moving a finger.
"Anfey, I am in a very difficult situation right now. Do you have any ideas?" Seeing that he was completely silent, Black Eleven wanted Anfey’s input on the matter.
"Yes, Blackania City is very dangerous right now," Anfey said, nodding. In fact, he didn’t know where Blackania was. He was merely repeating what he had just heard.
"You just told me," Anfey admitted.
Blackania City was one of the ten great cities of the world, and one of the most important cities for Maho Empire. Shansa did not try to attack the city with its armies this time. Instead, they made an alliance with Tiger of Tawau mercenary group. The mercenaries crossed the Transverse Mountains and entered the empire from where the defense was the weakest. They were able cut off Blackania City from the rest of the empire.
Even though Shansa Empire seemed to have the advantage right now, as long as Blackania City held out against the siege, they could not advance further into the empire. This was a long siege, and the army needed supplies. The mercenary group’s support could not deliver supplies for a prolonged period of time, and Shansa Empire would not allow something like that to happen. They could ally themselves with mercenaries, and so could Maho Empire. If someone cut off the supply line for the Tiger of Tawau mercenaries, and Blackania City could hold against the siege, Shansa Empire would not win the war.
Whether they wanted to advance further or hold on to their current interests, Shansa Empire would need to focus all of its military power on Blackania City. It was their only option.
Black Eleven shook his head. "Shansa Empire sent out their Griffin Aerial Unit."
"Griffin?" Anfey asked. By asking a question, he switched his role with Black Eleven.
"Yes," Black Eleven said.
"What should we do then?"
"We…" Black Eleven stopped mid-sentence and sighed.
Anfey sighed with him. He had no idea what griffins were, and was surprised. He only sighed because he had to play along with Black Eleven.
"Let’s talk about it more when we get back," Black Eleven said slowly. He had watched the events in Blackwater City unfold, and was impressed by how carefully and quickly Anfey had worked. After learning what had happened, Anfey was the first person he wanted to consult. However, Anfey’s attitude made him anxious. He wanted to change the target and have someone else pressure Anfey. Convincing Niya was much easier than convincing Anfey, but would achieve the same goal. If Niya decided to do something, Anfey would not stand by without intervening.
After a few minutes, Anfey appeared in Tuna Hotel. There was a lot of activity in the hotel lobby. It was still early, and there were a lot of women and girls gathered there, chatting. Some were smiling, some were laughing, some were even singing. When Anfey walked into the hotel, the women fell silent and all bowed to Anfey.
Anfey smiled and nodded. He walked upstairs to his room and was shocked by what he saw. The two girls that had been cleaning it were already finished. They were sitting on his bed with their skirts lifted up, showing their pale legs. They were touching each other’s legs and mumbling something.
When they saw him, the girls blushed and jumped off of his bed. "You’re back, my lord," they said timidly.
"The floor is very clean, I am impressed," Anfey said.
"Thank you," the girls said. Their faces were even redder now.
"I'm a bit tired now. You should rest as well," Anfey told them and yawned.
The girls seemed disappointed, then began walking out slowly.
"Oh, by the way. See if Christian is back yet. And tell Suzanna to come here."
"You're looking for me?" Suzanna was passing by and heard Anfey. She walked into the room and said, "I’ve been looking for you as well."
"Ah, Suzanna. You get more beautiful every time I see you," Anfey said, holding up his arms. He placed an emphasis on the word beautiful.
Suzanna frowned, but she didn’t say anything to contradict him, and let him hug her. She saw the two cleaning girls and lifted a brow. She turned and rolled her eyes at Anfey.
Seeing that the two girls had closed the door behind them, Anfey released Suzanna and coughed, "What is it?"
"The girl you saved. There’s something wrong with her."
"Something wrong with her head," Suzanna sighed and shook her head. "She wouldn’t talk or answer any questions. She wouldn’t tell us where she was from either. I’ve never heard her talk. She just sits there and stares at the wall. She won’t eat anything. I’m afraid she’ll starve to death."
"Did she have any other strange behaviors?"
"Strange behaviors? Like what?"
"Is she observing her surroundings? Like she was going to escape?"
"You’re afraid that she’ll run?" Suzanna asked, smiling. "I thought you were a good man after you let all the slaves go. Didn’t know you were just saving the best."
"Nonsense," Anfey said, smiling.
"I’m not kidding, though. Feller told me he saw the girl putting her clothes on while getting out of your carriage the day of the battle. Tell me, what did you do?"