There was a not too deep, but very steep valley behind Moramatch where people were on watch. The other side of the valley was steep as well. Christian and his companions had set up many alarming magic arrays and magic outposts. If any enemy tried to come over through there, they might escape people’s watch, but would trigger the alarming magic. People in the town would know there were enemies coming.
The main underground tunnel was at the foot of the valley. Gnomes and dwarves were working hard on the project. Anfey and Suzanna chatted under an ancient tree not far from the entrance of the main tunnel. They looked quite different. Anfey looked confused while Suzanna blushed as she rolled her eyes at Anfey.
"Why am I bad?" Anfey asked.
"You know why," Suzanna said.
"I don’t know. Why am I asking you about it if I knew?" Anfey said.
"Think about what you have done," Suzanna said.
"I have done a lot of things. How do I know which one you are talking about?" Anfey argued.
"Is it because you have done so many bad things?" Suzanna asked.
"Ok. Give me some hints," Anfey suggested.
"Did you forget about that wine?" Suzanna hinted for him.
"What wine?" Anfey still did not get it.
"The wine with the aphrodisiac in it. You put it in the wine and forced me to drink it." Suzanna blushed even more.
Anfey blinked and then he finally remembered. "When did I force you to drink it. I was just playing with you. Who would know you drank it without even asking about what it was?" Anfey said.
"Heng." Suzanna snorted.
"I did take it away from you right away. You only had a sip. I drank the rest of it," Anfey said.
"Why did you come to see me when everyone had gone to rest. You knew that wine had aphrodisiac in it, what did you want to do to me?" Suzanna asked.
"I wanted to…" Anfey tried to explain.
"You had evil thoughts, didn’t you?" Suzanna asked.
"I wanted to experiment with the effects of the aphrodisiac on myself. You see, my plan was to give aphrodisiac to griffins. I did not want to see our plan fail if the aphrodisiac was not strong enough," Anfey said.
"Excuses!" Suzanna rolled her eyes as she pulled a handful of grass next to her.
She was a little regretful of bringing this topic up. It made her feel awkward, shameful, and nervous. When people were nervous, they always had some unconscious habits. So did Suzanna.
""I am telling you the truth." Anfey tried to convince Suzanna that he was innocent.
"I do not believe you. You had evil thoughts," Suzanna said.
"Ok, ok. I had evil thoughts. What do you want then?" Anfey said.
Suzanna did not know how to answer that question. There was a saying that went "aggressive women tend to be touched by men who keep showing interest in them, and good girls are scared by lazy boys." What could Suzanna do to Anfey?
"I still have some seven-winged magic fly chemicals left. Do you want me to buy you drinks?" Anfey decided to be naughty all the way. He even grabbed Suzanna’s hand.
"Stop it!" Suzanna shook off Anfey’s hand. "I wondered why I felt weird after having your wine. I was kind of scared of you and…"
"And horny?" Anfey helped Suzanna with the words she could not say.
"Go to hell!" Suzanna could not take it anymore. She threw that handful of grass on Anfey’s face.
Suzanna spoke a little too loudly, so the gnomes and dwarves who were working not far from them heard their conversation. A few heads stuck out of the cave, looking at Anfey and Suzanna.
"Shhh, quieter, if you don’t want to be others’ joke," Anfey reminded Suzanna.
"I am not talking to you anymore. I am going back to take a nap." Suzanna stood up.
"Sit down, take a seat. What are you rushing back for?" Anfey grabbed Suzanna’s arm. Sometimes Suzanna was a lot stronger than Anfey, but other times Suzanna became very weak. With Anfey’s pull, Suzanna could not help wobbling and sat back.
"Anything else?" Suzanna talked as low as a mosquito’s buzzing sound.
"Of course, I said I will buy you drinks," Anfey said.
"You are so bad." Suzanna tried to shake off Anfey’s hand one more time, but she failed this time.
"You are so bad!" Anfey sighed as he shook his head.
"Why am I bad?" Suzanna said.
"You know it." They had the same conversation not long ago. They just switched their roles.
"I don’t know." Suzanna looked a little unhappy. Since she was more sensitive than Anfey, Suzanna could say that Anfey was bad but not allow him to say the same thing to her.
"I only want to buy you some drinks, but you are thinking about me in the wrong way," Anfey said.
"You…You said you still have some chemicals left and now want to buy me drinks again," Suzanna said angrily.
"Right, I am buying you drinks but not poisoned ones," Anfey said sincerely, "What are you afraid of."
"Why are you still talking about chemicals." Suzanna felt she was so wronged.
"Anfey," Black Eleven rushed in as he called Anfey’s name. "Something happened."
"What? Kumaraghosha came back?" Anfey suddenly stood up.
"No, a mercenary group is marching towards us. Watching from the Eyes of Sky, I think there are about one hundred twenty to one hundred thirty mercenaries in it. Telling by their flag, they seemed to belong to the Dragon Rider mercenary group," Black Eleven said.
"Dragon Rider mercenary group? What an arrogant name. I never heard you talk about them before?" Anfey said.
"It is just a name. It does not mean anything. If there is a mercenary group called Home of God, would all of them be gods?" Black Eleven smiled as he shook his head. "As far as I know, they are just a secondary mercenary group, but I am not sure what they are coming here for."
"Send your people out to ask around and find out what they are coming here for," Anfey said.
"I already did," Black Eleven said.
"Who did you send?" Anfey asked.
"Leyco." Black Eleven smiled. Leyco was the leader of the hired mercenary group. "It’s risky to be a messenger. We’d better ask an outsider to do it."
"Let’s go. Let’s take a look at them," Anfey said.
By the time Anfey and Suzanna got there and spoke briefly with Christian, Leyco had already come back. A few mercenaries followed him. The one in the front was a guy around forty years old. His eyebrows were thick and dark. He had a wide and big forehead and sideburns. He looked tall and strong. The sword shafts over his shoulders showed he used a two-hand sword. Two-hand swords in general were longer and heavier than regular swords. Some two-hand swords were even wider than palms, so it was not possible to hang them on waists.
The mercenary in the front looked around and laid his eyes on Anfey at the end. Everyone else stood behind Anfey, which made him look like the moon surrounded by stars. It was easy to tell who the leader was.
"Hello, you must be Anfey." The mercenary walked to Anfey with a smile.
"Yes, I am Anfey. May I know who you are?" Anfey said.
"My name is Ozzic, commander of Dragon Rider mercenary group," Ozzic said.
"How can I help you?" Anfey chose to go directly to the topic. He did not even bother with courteous expressions like "I have heard so much about you" or "It’s my honor to have a guest like you." Anfey was not great with social skills and definitely needed more practice. He used to observe and criticize others in the dark rather than helping coordinate for the team.
"The reason I came here was I got news that Shansa Empire’s cavalry is coming to attack Moramatach." Ozzic looked around again. "It looks like they haven’t come yet."
"No." Anfey tried to answer before anyone else could. "Is your information accurate?"
The battle had ended very quickly. The town did not show any trace of fighting. Those collapsed houses did not mean anything. Outsiders could not tell that a battle had happened based on the collapsed houses.
"Absolutely," Ozzic answered.
"Are you coming to help us fight the Shansa Empire military?" Anfey asked.
"Of course!" Ozzic said with justice. "Shansa Empire and Tiger of Tawau mercenary took over our Hengduan Valley. It was unbearable. They are thinking of taking over our village. They acted against the law and reason. Our Dragon Rider mercenary group has decided to fight Shansa Empire all the way to the end."
"You really impress me." Anfey nodded hard. "In fact, we did receive the same information and sent our people to ambush them. This is why they haven’t gotten here yet. If I calculated the time right, they still have over one hundred miles before they can reach Moramatch. They should be here tonight or tomorrow. We are thinking of withdrawing from Moramatch. Your coming is such an encouragement for us. Let’s fight together." Anfey held his hand out.
"Are you saying Shansa Empire’s military is still over one hundred miles away?" Ozzic was shocked for a second.
"To be more specific, it should be less than one hundred miles now," Christian said slowly. If they were still at Saul’s house practicing their magic and had not experienced so much, they would have given weird glances when they heard Anfey’s lies. Maybe some of them would even ask Anfey if he was making any mistakes. Everybody seemed to hide their emotions better now. Christian could even team up with Anfey in the lie.
"Good." Ozzic shook Anfey’s hand. "Anfey, I know you have many mages. You are familiar with Moramatch as well. How about I take my Dragon Rider mercenaries to fight the Shansa Empire military first to buy you some time. You guys can stay and set up defensive magic arrays."