Anfey felt something stirring within him as he watched the stars. Speaking with Black Eleven struck a chord in him. Saying that no one would forget him…that is an ode to a hero. He was very familiar with the topic and had seen it in countless books and movies. The old world may not be kind to him, and he may not miss it, but it was still his home.
He knew where to go when he was sad or upset. He had familiar friends there. He could opt for traveling as well, and see the world for himself. In this world, however, he could do very little of that.
Anfey knew that he was not a hero. Saving the slaves and creating an image for himself were something he did to hide who he truly was. He preferred to stay in the darkness and observe the world, but being observed by those in the dark. Even if he wanted to change something, he would do so in secret. He was not someone who enjoyed being the face of a movement.
People’s personalities may change, but for someone like Anfey, who had already experienced so much, it was unlikely to change, unless something traumatic happened.
Suddenly, he heard a voice from one of the rooms. He stopped to listen.
"Hui Wei, use your combat power. Quickly!" Hagan called.
"Aren’t you a two-discipliner? I want to try something."
"So is Anfey. Go find him," Hui Wei said.
"He doesn’t have combat power."
"Go find Niya then." Hui Wei clearly knew his excuses weren’t working, because his voice was getting quieter.
"Are you a man or not?"
"Fine, I’ll cooperate this time. I have a condition, though."
"What is it?"
"You have to tell me what kind of potion you’ve been making."
"No. Ask something else."
"Why not? So what if I know? I won’t tell anyone."
"I still can’t tell you." Hagan may have been desperate to find someone to experiment on, but he still had his standards.
"Really? Guess you have to find someone…" Before Hui Wei could finish his sentence, he was interrupted by the sound of fighting and grunting. A few moments later Hui Wei said, "Fine, fine. Do your experiment."
"You should have known better than to fight with me," Hagan said.
"Shut up. You’re the only alchemist here. You’re precious. I didn’t want to hurt you."
"What do you mean?"
"Look at this. Can you fix it?"
"Where did you get this?"
"This is an advantage that comes with studying ancient languages. My favorite pastime is to look for ancient ruins," Hui Wei said.
"You’re saying you found all these in ruins? How many ruins have you found?"
"It's not that easy, I found one by luck," Hui Wei said in a hushed voice. "Hagan, lower your voice. This is our secret."
"Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone," Hagan promised. "By the way, Vonmerge told me you encountered Anfey when they were searching for treasure. Is that the ancient ruin?"
"No, that was just something I found by luck," Hui Wei sighed and said. "I’ve spent some time there already. Who would have thought there was treasure there? Or else he wouldn’t have been the one to find it."
"Well, that’s a good thing, or else you wouldn’t have befriend Anfey. And we wouldn’t be friends."
"It’s a good thing to be friends with him?"
"Did he not treat you well?"
"He conned me! He stole my…never mind. What is gone is gone."
"You’re too simple," Hagan sighed and said.
"What do you mean?"
"Think about it. If other people found you, what would they do? They would try to take everything you have. If a necromancer found you, he might try to turn you into one of his little puppets. Has Anfey ever physically mistreated you?"
"Now he treats you as one of his own, and comes to you for advice. What more do you want?"
"He talks crap about me all day. You wouldn’t like it, either."
"I am very comfortable. I like this mercenary group. Except for the name."
"You don’t even know him. He is a…"
"I do know him. Back in Blackwater City, he had me make a lot of things. I know what those things were for. While you guys were comfortable in your beds, he was out with Suzanna, putting himself in danger doing who knows what. Who did he do that for?" Hagan said slowly. "After all this potion is done, Anfey will leave with Suzanna again and you will stay where it is safe. I bet you."
Hui Wei fell quiet.
"I don’t care how he treats his enemies, I only know how he treats his friends. I feel very safe here."
"Whatever. Look. Do you think you can fix this?" Hui Wei asked.
"I’m just an alchemist. If you don't mind me destroying this, I can try."
"Never mind then," Hui Wei said nervously.
Outside, Anfey smiled faintly. He did not want to disturb the two inside. He turned and walked away from the house. He only took two steps before an arc of lightning swept towards him. This was the first time he had experienced a lightning attack, but as the lightning passed him, he did not feel any pain.
The voices inside stopped, then Hagan called, "Wait, let me do my experiment!"
"No, does it hurt?" Hui Wei sounded exasperated.
"Hagan, what are you doing?" Anfey asked.
The door was pushed open and Hagan appeared. "Anfey, it’s you. What is it?"
"Hagan, how is it going with the potions?" Anfey asked as he made his way into the house.
"I ran out of materials. Vonmerge’s friends should be delivering it in two days."
Anfey was already inside the house. Hui Wei stood up and greeted him with a nod. He watched Anfey carefully, but Anfey wouldn’t make mistakes in situations like this. He kept his face neutral. "Five more days. Two more for you. Can you finish all the potion?"
"I should be able to."
"Good," Anfey smiled and said. "What were you doing just then?"
"Hagan wanted to do experiment on me," Hui Wei complained.
"Don’t injure anyone."
"Of course not," Hagan said.
Their conversation was interrupted by a sudden ruckus outside. Anfey turned and walked out of the house. Two tiny figures dashed by, then two bolts of lightning appeared and struck the two figures. Both fell to the ground.
By the time Anfey, Hagan, and Hui Wei approached, there was already a group of people gathered there. The dwarf children’s bodies were strewn on the ground.
"Blavi, what happened?" Anfey asked Blavi, who had just released the lightning bolts.
"They were getting away. I had to do something."
Dwarves’ defense may not be as good as the werewolves, but it was still very impressive. However, it was a result of years of strengthening themselves. Dwarf children could not have defended themselves against the lightning. The magic left two large, bloody wounds on the children’s bodies.
Anfey saw Doris and Suzanna walking over as well. He assessed the situation quickly, then turned to Blavi and said, "Don't worry about the children anymore. If they want to go, they’re free to go. Don’t try to stop them." For Anfey, these young prisoners were practically useless. Not only did his people have to spend time and energy to guard them, killing them could upset those with gentler hearts. Letting them go was the ultimate solution. The children would have a difficult time surviving alone in the wild. They would either be turned into slaves or food for the magic beasts, if they didn’t starve to death before that.
"God..." Doris called out in shock. Luckily she had not witnessed the battlefield, or else she would have been sick to her stomach. Choosing Country of Mercenaries as her training ground was a mistake on Doris’s part. It was not a good place for someone like her.
Suzanna, on the other hand, did not say anything. She looked at the children, then turned to look at Anfey. Perhaps it was because she was in love, she would always look at Anfey, as if Anfey was the most handsome man alive.
"Letting them all go?" Blavi asked.
"Yes. They’re children. They can’t do much."