"Anfey, I want to as you something. Promise me you won’t get mad?" Shally bit her lip and ask timidly.
The little unicorn yelped. Anfey still hadn’t given it alcohol, and it was getting impatient.
"Why would I get angry at you?" Anfey replied gently. He poured the unicorn some wine, wondering how a unicorn would act when it was drunk.
"Will you love and cherish and take care of my sister forever?"
"What?" Anfey looked at Shally and could not process what she just said. "Why would you ask something like that?" Since he was distracted, the wine overflowed the cup.
The unicorn jumped up and snatched the bottle from his hands. However, Anfey was focused on Shally and did not bother to stop the unicorn. He soon turned up the bottle and allowed the unicorn to take gulps from it.
"Niya said that you’re in love with my sister. That you will marry her." Shally stared at Anfey with her bright, clear eyes. "Anfey, will take care of her forever?"
Anfey smiled, unsure of how to answer the question. If it was another man answering, it might not have been so difficult. He could think about the question from different aspects, like their futures and lives and hopes, and answer properly without hurting anyone’s feelings. However, Shally was too young and could not understand anything too deep. All she needed from him was a simply yes or no.
No? He couldn’t just say that. That would hurt Suzanna’s feelings. Suzanna was one of the best members of his team, and was a great help to him. Without Suzanna, the entire team’s strength would decrease. Back in Blackwater City, the situation would have been a lot more difficult if Suzanna was not there. Women tend to be proud, and if he made her feel as if he had hurt her dignity, he might lose a great assistant.
Yes? This answer may be a little…Anfey’s mind flashed back to a few moments ago. He remembered seeing Suzanna grinning and accepting the goblet and draining the wine. He felt his heart skipping a beat, and before he could think he said, "Of course."
"Really?" Shally widened her eyes in joy. "Anfey, do you swear on it?"
"Of course I do," Anfey said. He held out his hand and high-fived Shally three times.
"Yes!" Shally jumped up and cheered. She jumped up and ran over to Suzanna, screaming, "Sister! Anfey said he would take care of you and love you for the rest of his life!"
Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing and looked over at Anfey. Everyone’s expression was a blend of confusion and surprise. Romance wasn’t a surprise, it was the people involved that surprised everyone. Anfey was a logical person who did not normally care for other’s feelings. It was hard for everyone to understand why a person like that would do something remotely romantic.
Anfey stared at Shally, too stunned to say anything. He was unsure of what he should do. He thought he was just making Shally feel better, but he never imagined Shally would do something like this. He had been through a lot of strange things in his life, but none of them involved women and love. This did not involve love, either, but how would he explain that to the others? Should he explain himself?
Suzanna blushed. "What are you talking about?" she asked.
"Really!" Shally was grinning widely. "He promised me. He would he would take care of you and cherish you."
Suzanna glanced at Anfey, and Anfey glanced at her. Their eyes touched, and then darted away. Suzanna had never been in a relationship before, and it wasn’t a surprise for her to do something like that. Anfey, however, had experience with women. This made him look like an inexperienced little boy. Clearly he was having difficulty processing this situation.
"Sister…" Shally clearly did not realize how much of an impact she had just made, and wanted to say something more.
Suzanna, however, felt that she could not stay in the room anymore. She turned and dashed away, disappearing into her carriage.
"What happened to her?" Shally stared after Suzanna’s figure, confused. She thought her sister would be happy after hearing about Anfey’s vow.
"Good job, Shally." Niya walked over and patted Shally on her shoulder.
"Don’t worry. She’s just shy," Niya said, smirking.
Anfey picked up a broken twig and began drawing on the ground. It looked as if he was trying to figure something out, but in fact he did not know what he was doing and was trying to avoid everyone’s eyes.
"Christian, come here," Anfey looked up and called out.
Christian moved over, smiling. He sat down next to Anfey and said, "Didn’t know you were this brave."
"You…" Anfey shook his head. "Don’t talk about it. It’s not what you think."
"You’re not saying Shally’s lying, are you?" Christian asked, enjoying Anfey’s unusual awkwardness.
"There’s some serious business we need to attend to. Don’t distract me."
"Alright," Christian said, controlling his expression. "What do you want to talk about?" He was grinning widely and was even more annoying to watch than before.
Anfey shook his head and said, "Christian, use Eye of the Sky and take a look at the camp."
Christian nodded. He whispered a spell and summoned Eye of the Sky.
Anfey, however, did not look at the Eye. He glanced at the sky and closed his eyes, as if he was trying to feel something.
"Close it," he said. Christian dropped his hand and all magical surges disappeared.
After a few moments, Anfey opened his eyes slowly and said, "Do that again."
Christian hesitated and looked at Anfey.
"Don’t worry, just do as I say."
"Alright." Christian nodded and released the magic again.
After five times, Christian felt a seed of doubt. Could Anfey be tricking him for what he just said?
"Alright." Anfey nodded. "Christian, let’s go somewhere else and do that again later."
"What are you trying to do?"
"I’m studying the Eye," Anfey said slowly. "Technically speaking, when the Eye of the Sky is watching a certain area, people in that area could feel its magic surges."
"You can feel it?" Christian asked, surprised.
"Not exactly." Anfey paused before continuing. "It's just a feeling. It’s strange. There is a very faint surge, but when I try to feel it, it’s gone."
"Are you being serious?" Christian asked nervously.
"I don’t have a reason to lie, do I?"
"Anfey, do you know why a strong army tends to need a powerful man to lead it?"
"Because a powerful general can make his men believe in his invincibility. When two armies clash and one side has a powerful general, its soldiers are often fiercer."
"That is part of the reason, but not all of it," Christian said slowly. "Take Ellisen Empire’s Dark Moon Magic Legion as an example. Its general is the famous Newyoheim. He is magically superior to most people. However, he is only mediocre when it comes to strategizing. He knows very well, and that is why he hands most of his commanding power off to his deputy general Serigue, who is an excellent general. This is why their legion can win time after time."
"Why is that?"
"What is the most important thing before a battle breaks out? Espionage and counterintelligence." It was a question anyone who had read a book or two could answer.
Christian, however, only looked at him.
"Am I wrong?" Anfey asked.
"No, you’re right." Christian nodded. "Eye of the Sky is a very simple magic. Almost every senior mage can use it. It’s magical surge is very weak, so normal people cannot detect it. The most powerful men, however, can. People like Newyoheim cannot only detect it, he can find where the mage who is using the magic is located."
"I see what you’re talking about," Anfey nodded and replied. "I’m not a powerful person, but I can feel something. Let's go somewhere else and experiment later."
"This i very good news," Christian said with a smile. "Anfey has the potential to be powerful. You may be the first person to learn both magic and Wu. You may be one of the most powerful men ever alive."
"I'm not that ambitious," Anfey said with a grin. "All I want to do is to survive."
Before Christian could say anything, Niya’s scream sliced the air. "Anfey, what did you do?!"