"Harrison!" Someone shouted. A man rode out slowly. The rider must have been around forty, and wore a shining plate without a speck of dust. His horse was beautifully groomed. However, this man carried with him the scent of blood. "Apologize right now," he commanded.
"I apologize," the man called Harrison said.
Anfey snorted but did not say anything.
"You must be the town’s mayor, Anfey," the rider said. He approached them slowly. "Let me introduce myself. Lieutenant General Kumaraghosha ."
"I don’t care if you’re a lieutenant or a general. It has nothing to do with me. I kindly ask you to leave immediately," Anfey said.
"You seem to hold a grudge against us," Kumaraghosha smiled and said. "I heard the residents of Moramatch are werewolves, dwarves, and gnomes. Where are they?"
"They refused to follow my orders, and they had to leave," Anfey said, alarmed. "You came from the south. If you keep heading north, you’ll find them." People who were meant to do great things tended not to react strongly to humiliation or honor.
Kumaraghosha was either suppressing his anger, or Anfey’s taunts did not get to him. Either way he would be a difficult man to deal with.
"Those creatures had claimed Moramatch for years. It is impressive you can tame them this fast."
"I am just a normal citizen. I am no match for someone like you, lieutenant." Anfey’s attitude softened. Kumaraghosha was playing nice, and was complimenting him. If he keep his attitude, it would appear suspicious.
"When I was your age, I was only a foot soldier." Kumaraghosha’s gaze swept across the guards and landed on Suzanna. "You are still young, but you are the leader of a powerful mercenary group and the mayor of a town. You have a bright future ahead of you. I am nothing in comparison."
"You are too kind, sir," Anfey said. His expression was prideful, but his tone was mellow. "What are you doing here, sir? Would you like to come inside for a drink or two and talk?"
"No, no. I will spare you that trouble." Kumaraghosha said and waved his hand. "I heard you have a lot of boarbeasts in the town?"
"We have some."
"I would like to purchase those boarbeasts."
Anfey frowned. He did not understand why Kumaraghosha would want to buy boarbeasts.
"I am willing to pay double for them."
"Hui Wei!" Anfey called after a moment of hesitation.
"Yes?" Hui Wei hurried over.
"Check how many boarbeasts we have in the city."
"Yes, sir," Hui Wei replied loudly.
Anfey turned back to Kumaraghosha and asked, "Sir, why do you want so many boarbeasts, if you don't mind me asking?"
"I cannot tell you that. Military confidentiality. I hope you understand," Kumaraghosha apologized.
"Ah, I apologize for asking a such a question," Anfey said. "Moramatch isn’t the largest town around. Why did you pick this town?"
"I encountered a few of your men, and they led me here. There they are."
Vonmerge walked over with Black Eleven. Black Eleven looked very dangerous with the scars on his face, and did not look like a businessman. However, he looked like a bodyguard standing next to Vonmerge and was not out of place.
"My lord," Vonmerge called as he walked over to join Anfey. He leaned over and whispered something into Anfey’s ear. Anfey widened his eyes and nodded, then frowned and seemed to be in deep thought.
"Are there any other questions?" Kumaraghosha asked.
"No, no," Anfey replied, shaking his head.
"Sir!" Hui Wei appeared and jogged over to Anfey. "We still have three hundred and twenty-seven boarbeasts."
"You heard him, lieutenant. We keep twenty-seven for ourselves. Three hundred gold coins for three hundred boarbeasts. How about that?" Anfey said slowly.
"Isn’t three hundred a bit ridiculous?" Kumaraghosha asked.
"Ridiculous? Not at all, lieutenant! Compared to your future, this price is low." Anfey smiled and shrugged.
"You sure know how to do business," Kumaraghosha said, smiling.
"Do we have a deal, lieutenant?"
"Alright. I’ll take all three hundred and twenty-seven of them."
"Lieutenant, I have people working for me as well. We need to change up our diet once in awhile. What are we supposed to eat if you take all of them?"
"We’re all friends, here, sir. Just pretend you gave me some gift." Kumaraghosha grinned. "Three hundred coins is a high price for boarbeasts. If I had any other choice, I would not take this."
Anfey smiled. He knew well what Kumaraghosha meant. If it wasn’t because of the war, the lieutenant would not have agreed to this price.
"You know, three hundred gold coins is enough for a thousand boarbeasts elsewhere."
"You can’t just say that. I have to pay my men as well," Anfey said. He looked as if he was the one at a disadvantage.
"You don’t look like someone who haggles over every penny, sir!" Kumaraghosha said. "Let’s just say I owe you a favor."
"Alright," Anfey said with a sigh. "Three hundred coins. What can I say? I like making friends."
"If you’re willing to treat me as a friend, I have a favor to ask of you."
"What it is, lieutenant?"
Kumaraghosha’s eyes narrowed. "You see, we are a little tight ourselves, financially. If I can write you a rain check…"
"No, no way." Anfey’s expression changed dramatically and he refused the offer angrily. Whenever he was playing a role, he would try to completely immerse himself in that character, sometimes he would even forget himself and what he was trying to achieve. Before Kumaraghosha could even finish, Anfey had already reacted. For a mercenary leader or a mayor, his reaction was completely natural.
"You can ask around about me, sir," Kumaraghosha said. "I am known to keep my promises."
"No. No way. Not ever," Anfey refused again.
"There’s no room for negotiation?" Kumaraghosha asked, his eyes narrowing dangerously.
"Only fools would negotiate!" Anfey snapped back. He grabbed Vonmerge’s shirt and barked, "Did you sell him those boarbests? Did he pay? Tell me!"
"He did," Vonmerge said nervously.
Anfey snorted and pushed Vonmerge away. "Alright. You can go now."
Kumaraghosha watched Anfey coldly, and Anfey stared right back fearlessly. After a few minutes, Kumaraghosha relaxed and said, "Alright. I will trade with you using crystals." He opened his palm and revealed three magic crystals. One of them was burning red and very clear, and was obviously a high tier magic crystal. The other two were of lesser quality, but still very rare.
Anfey stopped. He took the crystals and looked at them closely. He then called out loudly, "Hagan! Get over here!"
Hagan jumped and jogged over. He took the crystals, inspected them closely, then whispered something to Anfey. "These are only worth two hundred coins," Anfey announced.
"Don’t be too greedy," Kumaraghosha said quietly.
"It’s only two hundred gold coins. If you want, we can make a deal. If not, then you should be on your way."
Kumaraghosha looked at him, then he found another crystal and tossed it at Anfey.
It was a deep blue ice magic crystal. As soon as Anfey grabbed it, he felt his fingers going numb. Hagan’s eyes shone.
"Deal!" Anfey said, grinning. Anyone could tell it was a top tier crystal. "Hui Wei, gather the boarbeasts for the lieutenant."
"Lieutenant," Harrison walked over and said quietly, "do you think this may be a trap?"
"If it is a trap, they wouldn’t try to challenge my patience. It’s just a greedy youth," Kumaraghosha said slowly.
"But…trading a top tier crystal for boarbeasts? That is such an unfair deal!" Harrison said angrily.
"It is what it is," Kumaraghosha said, smiling. "It’s nothing unheard of."