"It would be great if our professor were here with us," Christian sighed.
"Oh, right, Hagan, can you tell when did this magic array stop running?" Hui Wei asked.
"Where are the magic crystals? How could I tell without seeing the magic crystals?" Hagan said.
"They were broken," Hui Wei said.
"It’s fine even if they were broken," Hagan said.
"You wait right here." Hui Wei climbed back to the top and then jumped off with some magic crystal pieces in his hands. "Are these ok?"
"Enough." Hagan nodded. He took out a bottle of white chemicals from his Dimensional ring and dropped some of the white liquid on the magic crystal pieces. The magic crystal pieces with chemicals on it shone brightly.
"This was a top magic crystal. Telling from the leftover magic on those pieces, the magic array should have stopped not too long ago," Hagan said thoughtfully.
"Not long ago? How long exactly?" Hui Wei asked.
"Less than three years ago. Oh, right, who was the first one who opened the square plate?" Hagan said.
"I was," Christian answered.
"Did you sense anything when you opened it?" Hagan asked.
"Nothing," Christian said.
"If it were a defensive magic array, it should have some magic surges left. IfHui Wei’s guess is right, it is a triggering aggressive magic array," Hagan said.
"Why would you say so?" Anfey asked.
"The triggering aggressive magic array was just a trap. Enemies would not notice them. The mages tried to hide the magic surges when they built the arrays. That is why Christian did not sense anything," Hagan said.
"Triggering aggressive magic arrays? Is there any way to modify it to allow this grandstone to become a pure aggressive magic array?" Anfey got it. It was just like the difference between landmines and grenades. Practically, he surely would want to turn a mine into a grenade.
"Don’t look at me. I cannot do it. This magic array is too complicated." Christian shook his head with a bitter smile.
"We will talk about it later. I am surprised about what we found today," Anfey said, smiling. "You guys stay here and search carefully. Don’t miss anything. Maybe we can find more surprises. I need go out now. Let me know if you find anything."
"Got it." Hagan nodded.
Anfey nodded at Sante with a smile. He jumped out of the secret chamber with squinted eyes. He strolled through the pathways of the underground tunnels. He felt he needed some quiet time. Whenever he had any difficulty, he would find some quiet time. He could think better only in a quiet place.
Suzanna quietly followed Anfey just like she often did. Her footsteps were quiet. She felt the happiest when she had a guy she felt safe around. No matter how aggressive a woman was, she would still like to find that guy who could make her feel safe. When a women felt she found the right guy, she would be willing to give up everything else. Suzanna was a lot better in terms of combat power. However, she was used to acting as his woman, walking next to him.
Of course, there were women who took leadership roles and dealt with the dangers on the Pan Continents. Were they really happy? They would probably have been shocked to have been asked this question.
"Anfey, what are you thinking?" Suzanna whispered.
"Without Hui Wei and Hagan, we probably would think those were trash and throw them away." Anfey smiled.
"They are very capable," Suzanna said.
"As we like to say in my hometown, ‘two heads are always better than one’," Anfey said slowly. "The saying seems very accurate at the moment."
Everyone specialized in one area. It was not possible for anyone to be the best in all areas, there were only 24 hours in a day. Kickboxing, shooting, hurling, making disguises, climbing, internet technologies and many other areas were the basics skills for professional assassins. They had to master all of those, but they all specialized in different areas. As for Anfey, his kickboxing was awesome, but he was not so great with shooting. If he had to fight for his life with another assassin who was good with shooting, he would not be stupid enough to get into a shootout with his opponent. Instead, he would hide somewhere and try to approach him to have a physical fight. Anfey’s opponent would try to avoid any hand-to-hand fighting with him. Win or lose, it depended on how wise and lucky they were.
Anyone who mastered every possible area would not be considered a genius. He was an epic monster. In Anfey’s professional life in the other world, he did not have any chance to hear or see such a monster.
After coming to this magic world, Anfey wanted to relive the life of an assassin because of his previous pattern. He was forced by fate to work with a group of people who were so different from each other. They cooperated and helped each other, which allowed Anfey to experience different relationships he never had before. If it were before, Anfey would never have his back towards anyone. However, he did feel safe if Christian or Suzanna stood behind him.
He felt happy and rewarded when he saw a group of silly young men grow up. It might be the same kind of happiness and satisfaction a teacher would have. Anfey was not so sure about himself, since this was his first time to lead a group and to try to survive and find a way to make them stronger.
Compared with the life of a lonely assassin, all kinds of experiences in this magic world seemed to make Anfey’s life fuller. It was not bad to have a few people Anfey could totally trust. As time went by, Anfey seemed to adjust to this kind of life. He had only wanted to safely bring them to Saul. He felt it was his responsibility, since Saul had helped him so much. After he had completed that task, he could have his own freedom back. However, the desire to seek that freedom was not as strong and urgent as before.
* * * *
Hagan and Hui Wei did not sleep at all that night. They worked on the objects of their interest, while others slept as usual. At dawn, a group of guests forced Anfey to open his eyes from the meditation.
"Anfey, that Dragon Rider mercenary group came back," Zubin said in a low voice. He was on watch last night so he was the first one to notice them.
"Oh?" Anfey stretched himself and moved his shoulders a little bit. He stood up. "Ask that Ozzic to come into town to see me."
"No need to allow him to come in. They are already here," Zubin said.
Anfey suddenly lifted his eyebrows. "Do they feel they know us very well? Where are they?"
"They will reach our town very soon. Anfey, do you want me to take some people to stop them?" Zubin asked. Dragon Rider mercenary group claimed they were there to protect the Country of Mercenaries. It was so rude of them to come so unexpectedly.
"No need. Can you ask Suzanna to come see me?" Maybe Anfey felt really calmed to have a senior swordswoman next to him, or Anfey would like to have a beautiful girl to look at. For whatever reason, he developed a habit of bringing Suzanna with him, no matter what he needed to do.
When Anfey and Suzanna arrived at the empty field in the town, they could already see Dragon Rider mercenary group. The previous time, Ozzic only brought one of his followers to see Anfey. This time he brought the whole group with him. Those mercenaries looked around as they walked. They looked at the town in curiosity. Some mercenaries walked up to the gnomes on purpose to check their height difference. They laughed after they found out the difference between them.
The first impression Anfey had of Dragon Rider mercenary group was they did not have good disciplines. Anfey never stressed discipline in his legion. It might be because their mercenary group was just established and lacked a set of rules and discipline. However, no one in his group would do those silly things if they walked into a town like this.
Ozzic walked in the front. He walked towards Anfey with a bright smile. "Haha, Anfey, I said that I would come even without your invitation. I hope you don’t think I am too rude."
"How would I? Are these your people from Dragon Rider mercenary group?" Anfey asked quietly as he looked at the mercenaries behind Ozzic.
"They are my brothers. We had been through thick and thin together." Ozzic seemed to be a little sentimental. "Oh, right, Anfey, we surrounded Hengduan Valley for a whole night, but did not see Shansa Empire’s military. We received the information from other mercenary groups that you have beaten them. Why did you not tell me last time?"
Anfey shook his head with a bitter smile. "It was a unit with about one hundred knights in the last attack. We got them out, but their main force should be behind them."
"Oh, I see." Ozzic was shocked for a second, then smiled. "No matter how many people they have, we do not have to be scared."
"I was never scared of them," Anfey said casually.
"Haha…I did not mean that," Ozzic said slowly, "Since I left White Mountain City, I actually have contacted a dozen mercenary groups. They will be here today."
"Today?" Anfey asked.
"Yes, today," Ozzic said with confidence. "There are three or four thousand soldiers at most in Shansa Empire’s military at Hengduan Valley. If we put all of our mercenary groups together, I think we should have around two thousand people. We do not have to worry about them."
"Our commander is very influential in the Country of Mercenaries," a mercenary standing behind Ozzic said.
"Get out. Who asked you to speak?" Ozzic said angrily. He apologetically explained to Anfey, "My followers are used to talking to me like this. I hope you do not mind."
"I like people who can speak their minds." Anfey laughed as he walked up to that mercenary. He patted his shoulder with an assuring and encouraging look. "Where are those mercenary groups gathering?"
"Here at Moramatch. Our commander already made an agreement with those mercenary groups," the mercenary answered quickly, encouraged by Anfey.
"Great." Anfey nodded vigorously. He turned around, but he saw Ozzic’s angry face out of the corner of his eye. He did not seem to like it that the mercenary answered Anfey’s question.