"Blavi, what are you doing?" Suzanna asked.
"Lady Suzanna," Blavi turned around and replied. After Anfey and Suzanna confirmed their relationship, the team members began to respect Suzanna even more than before. "Is everyone safe?"
"Everyone’s accounted for," Suzanna said. She glanced at the gnome and appeared disgusted. The gnome had a large head and a small, thin body and was very disproportionate. Not only was it ugly, it reeked as well. Suzanna took a step away from the gnome. She did not like things that she deemed dirty. "Blavi, why don’t you just kill it? Why torture it like this?"
"You don’t know what it was doing. When we found it, it was taking advantage of… Miss, what’s your name again?" Blavi turned and looked at the woman.
"Doris, are you alright?" Anfey asked softly.
"Anfey?" The weeping woman looked up, and her eyes landed on Anfey. She jumped forward, threw her arms around him, and began sobbing loudly.
Anfey hesitated, then raised his hands and patted Doris’s shoulders awkwardly. Suzanna frowned and turned her gaze towards the sky. Seeing a stranger hugging her lover was uncomfortable, but she didn’t want to say anything and make the situation even more awkward than it already was.
Blavi looked like he did not know what to do with his hands. After Suzanna joined their team, he found himself attracted to the powerful and beautiful swordsmaster. However, he knew that be it strength, family background, or looks, he was not good enough for Suzanna. After Suzanna and Anfey confirmed their relationship, he made a decision to keep the feelings to himself. He wouldn’t do anything stupid or anything to harm the team because of unrequited feelings.
This time at Moramatch, he had saved a girl and discovered that she was a senior mage. Blavi was a hopeless romantic, and imagined a romantic future between himself and the girl. He didn’t know that she was a friend of Anfey’s and was close to him.
"Alright, Doris, everything will be alright," Anfey said softly. "What are you doing here?"
"I-I passed my test and I c-came here to-to…" Doris was sobbing too hard to speak properly.
"Y-Yes." Doris nodded and wiped her eyes. Her tears stained Anfey’s shirt.
"As long as you’re with me, no one will harm you. Here, let me introduce some friends to you." Anfey snuck a glance at Suzanna. Suzanna’s expression was cold, and she was frowning. She was staring at the sky, seemingly lost in thought. Anfey blinked and turned back to Doris, "This is my fiancée, Suzanna."
Suzanna began to smile, and her eyebrows lifted. Her mood thawed as quickly as a block of ice tossed into a pit of fire. The suspicion she had a few seconds ago disappeared as well. "Nice to meet you," she said.
"Nice to meet you." Doris wiped her tears and forced a smile.
"This is my friend, Blavi."
"Greetings, Lady Doris," Blavi said as he bowed dramatically.
"Greetings. Thank you…for saving me back there."
"No need to thank me. It is my duty."
"Doris, how did you end up here? Shouldn’t you have gone to Forest of Death or Wild Plain to train?" Anfey asked.
An unfortunate story began to unfold through Doris’s narration. The magic school in this world was different from modern schools. The school did not hold regularly-scheduled tests. Instead, students would apply to take the test whenever they were ready. Students could keep studying in the school even if they failed the test. If a student wanted to, he or she could apply for as many tests as he or she want. As long as the fees were paid, no one would be thrown out of the school.
Doris was lucky and passed the test on her first try. After that, she was desperate for money. She went to the Country of Mercenaries and joined a mercenary group. During one of her missions, her team discovered a werewolf with a slave brand. Due to systemic discrimination, the team did not treat the werewolf as an intelligent being. They tortured the werewolf and almost killed it.
Doris, however, did not like their deeds. She rescued the werewolf in the middle of the night and released him, but the werewolf had lost most of his mobility. Leaving the werewolf alone in the forest would be a death sentence. The werewolf begged Doris to come with him, and Doris agreed.
After she arrived in the town, she was not welcomed with grateful words. Instead, she was greeted by Barak and his lustfulness. Had Anfey and his team arrive half an hour late, she would have been assaulted.
Anfey was speechless after listening to Doris’s story. He had never met anyone who would willingly help a werewolf. When he was still studying at the academy, Doris was the only person willing to help. She talked with him and taught him many things about magic. She even warned him after seeing his dimensional ring. Anfey had experienced Doris’s kindness first hand, but this time she was too kind.
The carriages entered the town slowly. After a careful search, the team found a few dozen dwarves and some gnomes who were either too young or too old to fight. There were some humans as well, either dressed in rags or naked. Clearly they were human slaves bought by the original residents of the town. Most of the residents were once slaves, and it made sense for them to act in retaliation after their escape.
There were some residents who escaped into an underground tunnel. Killing all of them would be impossible, but the surviving ones were not enough to post a threat.
The team had just taken over the city, and there were a lot of things to take care of. They needed people to take care of the carriages and the horses, guard the prisoners, clean the battlefield, and search the tunnels. Christian couldn’t do everything by himself. Thankfully, he had help from Black Eleven. Everyone in the team had their own role and began working methodically.
The good thing about being in power was that one didn't always have to do what everyone else was doing. Anfey didn't care for the chores, so when everyone was busy, Anfey and Suzanna snuck away to a hill outside of the town to watch the sunset.
"Anfey, look at my hand," Suzanna said after a few minutes of gathering her courage. She held out her hand shyly. If Anfey hadn’t introduced her as his fiancée earlier, she would have never said that.
"It’s very white."
"And beautiful," Anfey added hurriedly.
"Look at it again," Suzanna said.
"It’s very beautiful," Anfey said. He was thinking about Shansa’s griffins, so his attention was not entirely focused on Suzanna.
"Don't you think it’s missing something?" Suzanna asked, slightly frustrated.
"One, two, three, four, five," Anfey frowned as he counted Suzanna’s fingers.
"You idiot!" Suzanna stomped the ground angrily and pushed Anfey. However, without combat power, she was too weak compared to him.
"It’s not missing anything," Anfey said. He stopped thinking about the griffins and observed Suzanna’s hand carefully.
"A ring!" Suzanna said. She was blushing furiously, and her face was redder than the sunset.
"Isn’t this a ring?" Anfey asked.
"That’s a dimensional ring." Suzanna sighed and shook her head.
"A person can only use one dimensional ring. I…"
"I don’t need a dimensional ring! It doesn’t matter what kind of ring it is, as long as you’re the one…" Suzanna’s voice died down slowly, and was almost inaudible. She was too shy to finish.
Anfey stared at Suzanna’s hand as if dumbstruck, and began recounting his time with Suzanna. At first he only treated her as a friend, and her presence often reassured him. Women weren't the only people that need reassurance; men need it as well. Even if Anfey was a cold and calculating person and treated Suzanna as a piece in his game, she had became an indispensable part of his game.
Anfey rarely hesitated once he made up his mind. Suzanna’s hand was in front of him, but he did not take it. Taking her hand meant that he would take on more responsibilities, but he was fond of Suzanna.
Under her passionate gaze, listening to her slightly heavy breathing, Anfey’s hand moved towards Suzanna’s.
"Look!" Riska called out. In his Eye of the Sky, Anfey and Suzanna were moving closer together.
"Enough is enough," Christian scolded him playfully.
"A bit longer," Riska said, grinning. Anfey may be smart, but he would never imagine his own teammates spying on him.