"Christian? Why are we talking about him?" Anfey asked in surprise.
"You answer me first and I will tell you," Zubin said.
"Hmm…" Anfey blinked as he recalled. "He was obviously happy about it."
"Not very excited?" Zubin asked.
"A little excited, but not overly excited," Anfey said.
"Anfey, do you remember how Christian reacted when we first heard about the king’s death at our professor’s house?" Zubin asked.
"Yeah, what about it?" Anfey asked.
"Besides Niya, Christian was the only one crying. He looked so sad. Niya still seemed to feel bad about it the second day, but Christian looked like he felt a lot better," Zubin said.
"You have noticed a lot." Anfey smiled.
"I just happened to notice it. That night, I had trouble with a magic spell. I went to ask Christian for help, but he was not home. I even asked Blavi and Feller whether they saw where Christian went. First I thought he wanted to be alone to remediate his sorrow over the king’s death, but I found something unusual the second day." Zubin paused a little. "Even if we could say Christian found a magic way to make himself recover from his sadness, he should not have experienced such a tremendous change from being super sad to super happy."
"Zubin, what are you trying to say?" Anfey asked.
"I think Christian must have known the truth about king’s death in some way, or someone told him the truth," Zubin said.
"Why did you wait so long to tell me this?" Anfey asked.
"Christian and you are like our brothers, and protected us like our saviors when we were fleeing. I did not want to see you doubting each other, which could have brought us many dangers. Now we seem to be a lot safer. That is why I am telling you now. Anfey, you will not give Christian a hard time, will you?" Zubin said.
"Is it necessary? We have been through so much together. Nothing could affect the trust we built together." Anfey smiled.
"It’s great if you think that way." Zubin heaved a sigh of relief.
"Everyone has their own secrets. I do not want to force him to tell me. When the time is right, I think Christian will tell us on his own," Anfey said.
"Anfey, are you telling me you also have some secrets?" Zubin asked.
"Sure, don’t you have secrets?" Anfey asked.
"I…" Zubin shook his head with a smile. He changed the topic. "Anfey, I found a few merchants from Gruce Principality. I asked them whether they had heard of Suzanna, and they told me they had never heard of a name like ‘Suzanna’."
"They should have heard of her. A senior swordswoman under 20 should be noticed, no matter where she is. Is it possible that you did not ask the right questions?" Anfey said.
"They did not know about Suzanna, but they do know about Shally. They even took out their weapons to threaten me to tell them where Shally is. I almost could not escape from them," Zubin said slowly. "I caught one of them later. I interrogated him and found out Shally is on the wanted list of Gruce Principality. Do you know there is a reward for catching Shally?"
"How could I know?" Anfey shook his head.
Zubin had three fingers out.
"Three hundred gold coins?" Anfey asked. Seeing the corners of Zubin’s mouth curling up. He added a zero after his last guess: "Three thousand gold coins?"
"Bingo." Zubin said.
"If they are willing to catch a little girl for three thousand gold coins, they must have known something about the treasure map." Anfey could not help recalling the scene when the floor was covered with gold coins when they walked into that chamber. Then did not have enough space in their Dimensional rings to carry those gold coins, so they left a magic mark. They also marked it on magic coordinates. They left there after they killed the orcs.
"They must know something about it. Do you know who Shally’s parents are?" Zubin asked. He paused then said, "Former Grand Duke of Gruce Principality, Darius."
"Former? Who is the current Grand Duke?" Anfey asked.
"The former prime minister of Gruce Principality, Trajan, led an uprising in protest against Darius’s luxurious life and unsuccessful political career. He became a Grand Duke three years ago, while Darius disappeared. No one knows where he is now," Zubin said.
"So, Suzanna is also…" Anfey said.
" Anfey." A call interrupted Anfey. Suzanna showed up at the corner of the street. She rushed to Anfey in big strides. "Anfey, our magic outpost sent out signals. Riska saw Shansa Empire calvary marching towards Moramatch in the Eyes of the Sky. There are at least of a thousand of them. What should we do?" Suzanna asked.
Anfey was shocked for a second and then yelled, "Ring the alarm. Everyone retreat to the underground tunnels. Hurry!"
"Anfey, are we leaving all these here?" Suzanna looked around. She was not willing to give them up.
There were many buildings going up in in the town of Moramatch. A ffew days ago, the werewolves, dwarves, and gnomes in the underground guerrilla warfare were either killed or surrendered. Anfey was nice to the ones who surrendered. He did not take them as slaves. They had the absolute freedom to decide if they want to leave or stay. They could make decent money if they decided to stay and work for Anfey. With this policy, it eliminated the racial discrimination and gave the natives of Moramatch some respect. To all intelligent life, survival was their priority. They made the compromise fast. They switched from not being willing to cooperate to initiating work together. Right now, those dwarves and gnomes were working in Moramatch hall. To retreat, it meant what they had done for the past over ten days would be for nothing.
This was not even the main issue. The underground tunnels were built for dwarves and gnomes, so they were barely tall enough for humans. When Black Eleven left White Mountain City, he wanted to build a base here. He brought a lot of his belongs with him. There were over four hundred horses, not to mention other things. It was not possible to have horses in the underground tunnels. There were many supplies as well. Only a small portion of them could be moved to the underground tunnels. Most were still stored in the town. All of these would become the enemy’s booty.
Anfey had anticipated the revenge from Shansa Empire. With careful analysis, he thought the chances were slim. No matter why the Shansa Empire military would attack Moramatch, they would give the Country of Mercenaries an opportunity to organize an invasion force against them. Anyone with some common sense about politics would not do such stupid thing. Of course, just in case, Anfey had asked dwarves and gnomes to speed up their underground tunnel project. This was a huge project. They still needed one or two days more to move their supplies underground. Shansa Empire just came at a bad time.
"We do not have much time. Withdraw now," Anfey said coldly. They had a lot of supplies with them. The differences in professions made Anfey feel it was a world part. He did not care much for war. His natural cautiousness had him avoid anything related to war. If supplies were lost, they could get them back in the future. If the people in his legion were gone, they would never come back from death.
"Ok." Suzanna ground her teeth. She rushed back to the empty field.
"Anfey, where is all the stuff I just brought back?" Zubin was worried.
"Zubin, take your stuff to the rear end of the town. You go and tell Christian to bring horses and wagons there as well. He should know what to do," Anfey instructed.
"Aren’t we going to set up a magic array of chaos over there?" Zubin asked.
"We have set it up. It will start once we put the magic crystals in." Anfey said slowly, "We do not have other ways. I would rather ruin everything than have them get the supplies."
"I understand." Zubin smiled bitterly. He released levitation magic, flying to the sky.
Anfey let out a slight sigh and ran toward Moramatch. Blavi, who had climbed into an old tree, was nervously watching from the Eyes of Sky. In fact, he did not need to watch from the Eyes of Sky anymore, since Shansa Empire’s cavalry had passed the s-shaped hill and reached the end of the dirt road.
"What is going on?" Anfey jumped onto the outpost.
"They are here." Blavi pointed ahead of them with his chin as he smiled bitterly.
The dust was blowing. Half of the cavalry was covered in a cloud of dust. Maybe they knew there was a huge difference in power between them, or they did not know what Moramatch could do to them. Shansa Empire’s military looked reckless. Without any investigation, they just rushed to Moramatch.
Anfey glanced at the Eyes of Sky. Obviously, the military suited Kumaraghosha. Blavi had been following him after he caught Kumaraghosha in the Eyes of Sky. From different flags in different sections, he could tell Kumaraghosha was in the first section.
"You go first," Anfey ordered as he took out his bow, watching Shansa Empire’s military carefully.
Anfey knew the generals usually wore what other regular soldiers’ wore in the nineteenth century. It was to prevent attacks from ambush. The wars in the magic world were quite different. Anfey had recognized Kumaraghosha’s armor when the first section of the cavalry was less than 700 feet. He took a deep breath and took out a manticore bone arrow Hagan made for him. He slowly pulled the bow back.