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"Anfey, this was your first time going to the Mage Academy. How was it?" Saul asked.

"It was very nice, Professor. I had a good time there," Anfey responded.

"Which class did Steger put you in?"

"Ehh, Uncle Steger thought that I didn't have a solid foundation, so he put me in the library for self-study."

"This old guy probably forgot what I told him!" Saul showed a bit of annoyance.



"Professor, I think this is good. I can go to Uncle Steger for help if there is something that I don't understand."

"No way, Anfey. You will lag behind if you keep staying in the library. I will talk to Steger!" Saul shook his head.

"Professor, I think it is ok for me to do self-study at the library. I've already learned something from you. I don't want the class to slow down just because of me."

"Well then, you just let me know if you want to join the class," Saul said.

"Yes, Professor."

"What's wrong, Niya?" Saul noticed that there was something wrong with Niya because her face looked pale.

"Nothing, father. I am just feeling a little bit uncomfortable," Niya replied. Her suggestions weren't accepted by Granden. He had rushed back to the palace to see his father, the king, to get more information on the frontier battle. As such, Niya felt ignored.

"Where are you feeling uncomfortable?"

"I'm just not comfortable!" Niya pushed the chair away and left the table. "I'm not going to eat dinner. You two can help yourself." She left and entered her room alone.

"Anfey, what's going on?"

"I have no idea. It seemed like something happened between Niya and Granden."

"Granden? The second prince?"

"Yeah."

"What do you think of him?"

"Eh?" Anfey paused a bit and reluctantly said, "I think he is a nice person."

"Haha, oh, Anfey. You don't have to be bothered by all the rules here in my house, but don't say the prince's name so casually outside. Otherwise, some people will not like it."

"I understand." Anfey smiled. "The second prince is an easy-going person and he treated me with respect. I didn't realize that he was a prince until Niya introduced us."

"I like his personality as well. He is easy-going and forgiving, unlike his brother, the oldest prince."

"What's this? It smells so good." Anfey pointed at the dishes on the table, interrupting Saul.

It was not polite to interrupt Saul, but Anfey had to do so. He knew very well that this topic was sensitive. It wasn't good for an outsider to know much about the princes' battle for the throne. Granden was about twenty now, and the fighting for the throne might've already started. Although Saul was well respected by the three princes, it might not be wise for Saul to support any one of them. If the one Saul supported got the throne, Saul's status couldn't get higher than it was now, otherwise it would be a threat to the new king. If the one he supported lost, it could be imagined what would happen to Saul.

Of course, it would be ok for Saul to support the second prince if he could use all of his means to make sure the second prince obtained the throne. Unfortunately, Saul was not the type of person who was good at petty tricks. Anfey knew Saul well enough. Saul sometimes could do some things if he wanted to. Working with Ernest to fight against Yagor was a good example, but there's a difference between petty tricks and deceit. The deceit where one knows how and when to show ruthlessness or tolerance, how and when to show ambition or cowardice. But what did Saul have? Nothing! He had so much to worry about, even the stubborn young man from the deserted island could gain his trust. If Saul decided to be deceitful, he could lose everything.

What Anfey felt was even more absurd was Saul's casualness! Anfey didn't know what the status of the battle for the throne was, but it was easy for Anfey to guess what was going on. If the oldest and the youngest princes wanted to take the throne, seeing Saul was so close to the middle one, they had to try and recruit spies among Saul's students or family members to discover Saul's moves. As the saying goes, "Know oneself, and know one's enemy, and one shall win a hundred battles."

Currently, Saul had his students sitting on the two sides of the dining table, with seven servants standing in the room ready to serve. Saul casually discussing what went wrong with the oldest prince… This could definitely cause future troubles. What would happen if Saul's words spread even before the oldest prince got a chance to place spies within his students and family?

Through Anfey's eyes, Saul was in a higher social class, knowing how to deal with other people. His daughter was quite the opposite. She was naïve and quite spoiled. But both the father and the daughter had something in common: they were pretty lucky in their lives and didn't face much adversity. For Saul, he was lucky enough to become a student of Archmage Cheronio and become a beginning-level mage in his twenties. He later became an archmage in his forties after breaking through the bottleneck. Saul was used to being treated like a king, and even the king himself had to show respect to Saul.

Saul thought he was the greatest archmage in this empire and the professor of the three princes. As such, it wouldn't be a big deal for him to say something about them or even criticize them. But in fact, it could possibly bring him trouble in the near future.

Nothing should be taken for granted. Clouds fluttered, the wind blew, water formed waves and trees shook in the wind, nothing was immutable. Everything in the world was constantly changing!

Saul paused a bit and tried to get some food from the dish which Anfey liked most. The dinner was kind of boring and Anfey wanted to leave. "Professor, I am full now, can I go check on Uncle Ernest?" Anfey asked.

"Sure." Saul nodded.

"Please take your time," Anfey said politely to everyone at the table and went downstairs.

Saul took a second look at Anfey, but still kept silent.

Anfei went straight to Ernest's door way and was about to knock, but stopped. Ernest must've been meditating inside, otherwise he would have come to Anfey for some advice or to learn some new skills.

Anfey turned around and started walking towards his room. He needed to meditate as well. Choosing to learn magic was a mature choice made after much thought. He needed not just a legitimate social status but also a proper disguise.

When a swordsman and a mage were fighting, each would try to achieve their highest speed. But when they got closer to Anfey, they all felt that Anfey didn't have any combat power, but instead tricky techniques. When a swordsman and a mage fought against each other, they would always put on all types of protective gear and use some defensive magic arrays. But even before they got ready, Anfey could already rush in front of them.

No matter how strong their magic and combat power were, Anfey would never give up his own martial arts skill. Martial arts were his foundation, and he would never stop practicing. He had not practiced in a while, so now was the time to do some makeup sessions.

After getting back to his own room, Anfey put out the candle on the table and started practicing breathing.

There was a secret book carried on from generation to generation in Anfey's family. Anfey read it from cover to cover and practiced the first half, but he never touched the second part. He understood the Theravada Zen, and had already achieved it, but not the Mahayana Zen[1]. For him, the Mahayana Zen was total nonsense, especially the Six Supernatural Powers[2]. In order to verify his thoughts, Anfey went to Tibet several times and tried to see the so-called Nirvana. However, no monks passed away during his visits, so he left without any evidence.

But now, with more and more experience and strange feelings inside his body from the increase in his magic power, he started questioning his original thoughts about the Mahayana Zen. In this world, the spirit was much heavier than in his old world. After practicing for two years, he had made big improvements in circulating his small circle of vital energy, and was close to the big circle of vital energy! Maybe he should try his luck to break the big circle and see what would happen afterwards!

It was for this reason that Anfey never wanted to learn magic skills or combat power. He never wanted to become a real mage or swordsman, even though he had the two best teachers.

It was dark outside; a dark shadow flashed into the corridor and creeping towards Anfey's room.

Translator's Thoughts Nyoi-Bo Studio

[1] Mahayana (Sanskrit for "Great Vehicle") is one of the two (or three, under some classifications) main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice.

Theravada (Pali, literally "school of the elder monks") is a branch of Buddhism that uses the Buddha's teaching preserved in the Pāli Canon as its doctrinal core.

[2] The Six Supernatural Powers are:

1) Developing mental pureness and eventually enlightenment.

2) Telepathy: Being able to read the emotions and thoughts of others.

3) Magic Powers: Such as levitation, teleportation, and telekinesis.

4) The Divine Ear: Being able to hear things from very far away, being able to hear astral beings from different levels, and being able to understand the language of animals.

5) The Divine Eye: Clairvoyance, being able to perceive the different levels of the astral realms and the process of rebirth.

6) Remembering past lives.

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