"But you already know levitation," Suzanna countered.
"That’s good news." Christian grinned. "I don’t have to carry you anymore. Truth be told, Anfey, you’re quite heavy."
Anfey turned and looked at Suzanna. It was evident from her expression that she was very happy for his growth. Even though it had been a few days already, Suzanna couldn’t help but smile whenever she recalled it.
Women were much more sensitive than men, especially when it came to love. Suzanna knew very well what her heart desired. After the incident with Shally, Suzanna felt she didn’t need to hide anymore. After the initial awkwardness, she chose to be more open about her feelings. This was why she had been talking about Anfey a lot lately.
Sensing his gaze, Suzanna turned to look at Anfey. When their eyes met, she quickly turned her gaze away.
"Where’s Hui Wei?" Anfey asked.
"Over there." Christian pointed the young man out for Anfey. "Do you need to talk to him?"
"He had dealings with some of the weaker species before. I need to ask him something."
"Is it about Moramatch?" Christian asked.
"It is," Anfey said.
"It’s really my fault," Christian said. He shook his head. "I should have been smart and rented that Zambia village."
Zambia was a jungle town in the middle of Transverse Mountains. It was the last large supply town on the way to Shansa Empire. It was a large town with mostly humans. It covered a lot of territory and was fairly prosperous. Plus, it was in the middle of the Transverse Mountains, which would make it easier for them to execute their plans.
"Thank god you didn’t rent that town," Black Eleven said. "It’s under the control of Shansa Empire. It is a major city in Transverse Mountains. They would never ignore it."
"Do you have anything from Band of Brother mercenary?"
"Shouldn’t we be trying to create some chaos?" Christian asked, frowning.
"Definitely. We cannot disrupt Shansa Empire’s supply lines all by ourselves. We need other mercenaries to help us." Anfey smiled. "I’m going to look for Hui Wei. Suzanna, why don’t you get some rest?"
After the few days away from his friends, Anfey had some new understanding of magic. He would try to meditate as often as he could, so keeping nightly vigils became Suzanna’s and Black Eleven’s job. During the day they had travel. The two of them were often extremely tired because of this lack of sleep. Anfey still hadn’t expressed anything, or promised anything to Suzanna. He wasn’t even sure of their relationship himself. However, he saw everything and remembered everything. Silence was just the way he was. He would still care for her when the time was right.
"I’m not tired," Suzanna said. She didn’t want to act clingy. She was worried that some people wouldn’t just let her rest. Like Niya, who would always be asking her strange questions.
Anfey glanced at Suzanna. He misunderstood her intentions, for once. All men, more or less, had big egos. When a girl like Suzanna falls in love with a man, he would try to stay with her to prove to her his masculinity.
Hui Wei was talking with Vonmerge. Seeing Anfey, the two of them stood up to greet him. Hui Wei was calm, but Vonmerge’s expression was hard to read. He glanced at Suzanna, and his eyes dropped to the ground silently. He wanted to keep himself away from the spotlight. He didn't need sympathy or jabs. Both would hurt his pride.
However, Vonmerge was a happy person who liked talking to people. He was well traveled, so the job of dealing with strangers fell to Vonmerge. A talkative person suddenly keeping to himself was a sign that something was wrong.
Suzanna hadn’t realized Vonmerge was there. She stopped and looked worried. One was her old friend, her companion, who had pursued her relentlessly. The other was her lover, her leader. She was worried that there would be conflicts over the matter. She would be upset no matter what happened.
Anfey felt that Suzanna and Vonmerge were acting strange. He frowned, then remembered Vonmerge once was pursuing Suzanna. It was common for hatred to replace love. If Vonmerge were to overthink the situation, he could potentially do things that were harmful to the team. However, Anfey couldn’t do anything. He needed to wait for Vonmerge to make his own decision. For a victor, anything he did could be mistaken as showing off.
Killing him? The idea entered his mind. It wasn't his fault for having such an idea. For an assassin, his first reaction to any potential danger was whether the situation could be resolved with violence or not. The other choice would be to distance himself. Only fools and warriors danced with the devil. Never assassins.
"Vonmerge," Anfey said. "I didn’t know you were here. I need to ask you something." He tried to keep his tone as natural as possible.
"What is it?" Hui Wei asked slowly.
"Do you know where we’re going?"
Hui Wei and Vonmerge glanced at each other and both shook their heads.
"We’re going to Moramatch," Anfey said. "Christian rented the place, and that will be our base from now on."
"Moramatch? Why are we going there?" The two asked at the same time.
"I know how chaotic the place is, but that is a good thing. If we can settle down there, no one could challenge our leadership for a long time." Anfey wasn’t joking. Every sentient race had its own skills to protect itself. If they could be recognized by the residents of Moramatch, they could use their defense system against outside threats.
"Wishful thinking." Hui Wei shook his head. "Those creatures are filled with hatred. There is no easy way to stabilizing the place."
"I know it’s hard, so I need to learn more," Anfey told him. "Have you dealt with dwarves and gnomes?"
"I’ve dealt with them, sure."
"Tell me more about it."
Hui Wei thought about it for a moment. "Dwarves are short tempered. Both the men and the women are quick to anger. I've seen one angry dwarf before. His beard was so long you couldn’t see his mouth. His eyes were huge and he was jumping around, screaming at me. But he was half of my height. It was honestly quite annoying, and I wanted to smash him with a rock. Dealing with dwarves is hard work. They wouldn't bend to violence. They can and will sacrifice themselves, even if just to prove a point. They’re very stubborn and very determined. You cannot dissuade a dwarf."
"You’re saying neither words nor violence can force the dwarves into doing anything?"
"Yes." Hui Wei nodded.
"What about the gnomes?"
"They are a very selfish race. The only thing they really care about is themselves. Because of their selfishness, their civilization is dying very fast; or else they would still be the dominant race." Hui Wei stopped for a moment before continuing, "Years ago, the rise of the savage clans marked the fall of the gnome civilization. A team of a hundred savages could defeat an army of ten thousand gnomes. Because of the individual differences, the gnome soldiers did not even have the guts to go to war. They would scatter before the savages. Because of their selfishness, they did not unite against their common enemies and gave up very easily. If it wasn’t for that, the savages wouldn’t have had their gold age, and humans wouldn’t have came around."
"Wait, I have a question," Anfey said. "Humans are made by gods. What does that have anything to do with the gnomes?" He had read about the development of human civilization in the library when he was researching magic.
"Of course, you’re right." Hui Wei smiled and stopped talking.
"Did the gods create the gnomes?" Anfey asked tentatively.
"When the gnomes controlled the world, the gods weren't even born," Hui Wei said quietly. "Let’s move on. You won’t believe me even if I tell you."
"You haven’t told me anything yet."
"Let’s just say the God of Destruction worshipped by the dark mages is a battle monster created by the gnomes."
"What?" Vonmerge asked. He was really shocked.
Suzanna stared at Hui Wei with wide eyes. His theory was too strange for them to accept easily. Most people would take him for a madman. Anfey, however, was thinking about what Hui Wei just told him.
"If gnomes could control gods, then why were the savages able to destroy them?" Anfey asked slowly.
"Like I've said, the gnomes are very selfish. They declared war on each other over the right to control this battle monster. I am not sure what happened in the end. All I know is that the gnomes lost control of the monster."