"My master told me, Master," Shinon answered.
"Your master? Why didn’t he come?" Anthony asked.
"My master is not in the town. He left a long time ago," Shinon answered.
"Then tell your master to come to see me if he has something to tell me. Okay? You can leave now." A smile appeared on Anthony’s face.
Shinon was shocked for a second and said, "I understand, Master."
"Hold on!" Michael yelled. He was sitting with lips trembling. The veins on his neck were bulging. He looked incredibly mad. No one was sure why he was so angry.
"Master, how can I help you?" Shinon asked in surprise. He looked sincere. No one could tell anything unusual. That was because he indeed had not done anything.
"Did you say your master asked you to pass that message to Master Anthony, and your master has been gone for quite awhile?" Michael asked in a serious voice.
"Yes, Master," Shinon answered.
"Are you lying?" Michael raised his voice.
"I swear I did not lie, Master," Shinon said.
Anthony was shocked, then he suddenly realized something. His face was stone cold. They had just learned that Dark Moon Magic mercenary legion got stuck at the foot of Suyagor Valley, and Yolanthe, the king of Maho Empire, did not die. The guy standing before him had known this top secret for a long time ago. What did it mean? It meant they could have saved Newyoheim and Dark Moon Magic mercenary legion if they had met this guy earlier. They could even have saved an empire. Anthony usually had a poker face, but this time color drained from his face because this information was too crucial.
"Why didn’t you come to see us earlier? You should have come earlier." Michael suddenly stood up. Michael was the chief of the consolidation group that Ellisen had sent to the Country of Mercenaries. He was just below the Palace Archmage, Newyoheim. He had come to White Mountain City earlier to speak with Anthony. Before they could even agree on anything, Michael received the bad news that his old friend Newyoheim had gotten stuck in Suyagor Valley. He had just learned that there was a chance to save him from the guy in front of him. He could not control himself and got really angry.
"Master, my master sent a messenger to let me know about it three days ago. He asked me to look for Master Anthony. I did not know about it before that," Shinon complained.
"Why didn’t you come three days ago?" Anthony asked.
"I came," Shinon said.
"What?" Anthony and Michael called out in surprise at the same time. Michael quickly glanced at Anthony, which made Anthony feel very awkward. It seemed like he had not reported it to Anthony on purpose.
"Shinon, don’t lie. How come I didn’t know you came here three days ago?" Anthony yelled.
"Shinon, don’t be scared. Tell us what happened. Don’t worry," Michael said right after Anthony. He sounded he was going defending Shinon against Anthony.
"Master Anthony, you surely did not see me. Your guards at the door did not let me in. I told them many times that I had to see you about something important, but they did not believe me. They asked me to leave a message with them," Shinon said, looking very helpless, "but my master told me I had to tell you in person. I would never tell anyone else. My master said it was too important. I could trust no one but master Anthony."
Michael sat back hard in the chair. The awkward look on Anthony switched to a sad one. Things were getting clear. Who else could Anthony blame? He was a commander of a mercenary group, so not everybody who asked to see him would be able to see him. Shinon was nobody special; therefore, no one thought he would have such important information with him. It was reasonable for bodyguards to keep him from seeing Anthony.
"I have come three days in a row, but did not get to see you. I was worried and told my master’s messenger about it. He told me with a bitter smile that it was easy to see the God of Light, but hard to deal with the priest in the Church of Light. He had to give me over a dozen gold coins to give to the guards at the door. He said they would let me in this way, since no one would pay over a dozen of gold coins to play a prank on someone." Shinon continued, "My master’s messenger also said we should have received rewards from master Anthony by telling him such an important message, and we did not expect we had to spend so much. It was ridiculous. My master’s messenger also said he would advise my master not to do the same stupid things again."
Michael snorted. Anthony could feel the heat from his face from intense shame. It was clear that this guy’s master knew the information was too important. Michael decided to gamble big that Anthony would honor his words, since they could not reach an agreement in a short time. However, he did not get any response from Anthony and forced the guy to pay to pass the information to him. It was too ridiculous.
"Did your master tell you what he wants as a reward?" Anthony asked slowly.
"My master said he wishes to get a promise from master Anthony," Shinon answered.
"What kind of promise?" Anthony asked.
"My master never told me about it," Shinon said.
Anthony went quiet for a while. "Ok, I promise you. You can tell your master that he can come to see me, Anthony, whenever he needs me. I will definitely try to help. I promise." Anthony was not overly confident about his words. He only agreed to solve that secret master’s problem.
"Thank you, Master Anthony," Shinon said.
"But, you have to tell me your Master’s name first." Anthony tried to seek out some information about the secret master.
"His name is Judge," Shinon said.
"Judge?" Anthony asked.
"It means a person who acts justly," Shinon said.
"What a powerful name." Anthony forced a smile. "If I need to see your master, should I contact you?"
"Yes, Master," Shinon said.
"Ok," Anthony nodded, "but where you live right now is not safe. I will send some of my people to protect you. Don’t worry. I am not watching over you. I am just afraid something could happen on you."
"I understand, Master." Shinon said.
"And, Shinon, did you see the same group of guards at the door when you came here to see me the past several times?"
Anthony went quiet for a while and yelled, "Someone come in please."
After he called out, two mercenaries walked in from outside. "Master."
"Who has been guarding the door for the past few days?" Anthony asked.
"It’s Jacob’s team," one of the mercenaries answered.
"Ask Jacob to see me," Anthony said.
The two mercenaries turned and walked out. Not long after, a middle-aged mercenary rushed in and asked politely, "Master, how can I help you?"
"Jacob, did you make good money recently?" Anthony’s look and tone totally changed. He had seemed like a nice person before, but now he switched to a cold, powerful man with a killer’s look. His eyes shone even colder light than sword radiance. "Tell me how much have you made."
Jacob had cursed Shinon for selling him out, but he immediately kneeled on the floor without any hesitation. He said with a trembling voice, "Master, I only took fifteen gold coins from him. Master, I did not want them. He insisted on giving them to me."
"Take him to the Death Row Cell," Anthony said casually, but his words had changed the fate of Jacob in the blink of an eye.
"Master, it is not my fault. He insisted on giving me those gold coins. Master, if you don’t believe me, you can ask him..." Jacob said.
Before Jacob finished his words, Anthony had already pulled his sword out. A glaring sword radiance flashed. He cut Jacob into halves like it was as easy as cutting a piece of tofu. Anthony had put his sword back into the sheath before the blood splashed everywhere. He sat back like nothing had happened.
The bloody scene startled Shinon. He hurriedly lowered his head. He was just a regular person and got scared by such a scene.
"How dare he argue with me? I will just bestow a quick death to him," Anthony said slowly. "You go to take all of Jacob’s team and keep them in the Death Row Cell and wait for my order."
"Yes, Master," the two mercenaries answered together. They left the living room.
"You, go tell the housekeeper to bring five hundred gold coins." Anthony waved his hand.
A maid standing next to Anthony hurried through a side door. Soon a man about sixty years old trotted in with a young mercenary behind him. Five hundred gold coins were heavy. An old man could not carry them by himself.
That old man opened a box about 1 foot square. It was full of shiny gold coins. It blinded everyone’s eyes under the forever lights. Anthony looked at the gold coins and said with a smile, "Shinon, this is my appreciation gift. Please tell your master that I appreciate his effort."
"Hmmm…" Shinon’s jaw dropped.
"This is not for you. This is for your master. Don’t worry. Just take them. I will have my people escort you. No one would even think of taking them from you," Anthony said.
"Thank you, Master," Shinon said.
"Anthony, if you did not make mistake, we should have gotten the information three days ago. Do you think Dark Moon Magic Legion and Master Newyoheim are only worth five hundred gold coins?" Michael said in a mocking tone. He vented his anger on Anthony. He mocked Anthony for being not generous, but he was not the one paying for it. It should have nothing to do with him.
"My bad." Anthony did not mind. He hesitated for a second then asked in a casual tone, "Shinon, what weapon does your master use?"
Shinon thought about it and remember his master cut off the rope on him with a sword. "My master uses a sword."
"Great. I have a black flaming sword. I heard a genius blacksmith from the dwarfs made it for the humans. I would like to give it to your master as a gift." Anthony waved his hand again.
Michael saw what Anthony was trying to do. They looked at each other. That secret person used a sword. At least he knew something about that secret man. According to Shinon, his master had left White Mountain City a dozen days previously. If they took some time to search, they might find something out.