"Master, you must be joking. It is my honor to have you come to see me, a crippled old man." Aroben looked at his lifeless hand and a sadness flashed in his eyes.
Anfey smiled. He could only smile because the speech he prepared seemed inappropriate now. If he had passed his condolences on to Aroben, Aroben did not seem sad. If he had asked him to have a good rest, Aroben looked very refreshed. Anfey searched for words in his head to start their conversation. He was here to visit Aroben and learn from him about the experiences governing Violet City.
"I heard from Urter that Shamash from the Marquis Djoser’s tried to kill you. Did you kill him?" Aroben helped Anfey find a worthy conversation topic.
"Did I act too much on impulse?" Anfey said with a smile. He did not expect Aroben to go into a topic without any greetings. Aroben seemed to be direct. Anfey appreciated that.
Aroben went quiet for a second. "Master, even though we just met, I do have something to tell you. It may sound blunt and even cause trouble for me. I am already a disabled man now. I am scared of nothing."
"You can tell me anything." Anfey smiled. "You don’t have to call me Master. Urter and I are just your juniors."
"Rules are rules." Aroben slightly shook his head. "Then, I am going to tell you some truth."
"Please." Anfey felt this came a lot faster than he expected. He thought he would have a long conversation and they would get to know each other a little better before they could talk about anything important. It looked like Aroben was more eager than Anfey to talk about important issues. For an old man who had been a politician for so long, he should not be so impatient. Maybe the last cruel strike had changed Aroben’s personality a lot.
"Master, you were too nice to him," Aroben said slowly.
"What?" Anfey was shocked by his comment. At first he thought Aroben was sarcastic. Not only Anfey, but also Urter, was shocked by Aroben’s comment.
"Marquis Djoser is a marquis of our empire. His family can be traced back several hundred years." Aroben looked calm. "For a long family tree, its roots could grow even better than the leaves. Marquis Djoser has kept a very low profile, but it could just be the roots of an older tree. We have no idea how much potential Marquis Djoser has. Master Anfey, do you think we could underestimate Marquis Djoser?" Aroben glanced at Anfey.
"Are you saying…" Anfey looked more serious.
"Marquis Djoser has lost five sons. Do you know what he got in return? A couple of acres of barren land, some mediocre reward? If it were not because of you, Marquis Djoser would be happy to take those rewards, since their feudal lands have not increased for the past hundred years. It could be a good opportunity for him since it would leave something good on his family history." Aroben sighed. "But everything changed because of you. People should not compare themselves with others. Many tragedies and disasters came from it."
"You made such contribution to our empire, but Marquis Djoser lost five sons for the empire. Why did you become the owner of Violet City, but not Marquis Djoser? In terms of nobility titles, Marquis Djoser is a marquis, while you are just an earl. Do you think Marquis Djoser would find that fair?" Aroben snorted. "Do you think you scared Marquis Djoser after you killed Shamash? No, you only could scare some of his followers. Those followers would go to where the power is. I promise you, Marquis Djoser will only get crazier. Do you know you have wasted a great chance? Shamash was trying to kill you on the street and many people saw it. You could have taken him to your police department. The case would have led back to Marquis Djoser and wiped the whole family out. Unfortunately, it is too late now." Aroben shook his head. "As long as Marquis Djoser is alive, there would be no peace in Violet City. If you don’t believe me, time will prove it."
"Marquis Djoser is a marquis of the empire…" Urter murmured.
"You, Urter, you are such an idiot!" Aroben raised his voice angrily. "How could you do something beyond your authority? Why did you start the Transmission Portal magic array and send the official files to Blackania City. You should not have done that. We could have done something to save it, but now there is nothing we can do."
"I only wanted to make sure Shamash got the punishment he deserved before Marquis Djoser reports on us. If the empire agreed with me on the crimes Shamash committed, we would have had so room to maneuver. We could have attacked or defended as we needed," Urter said.
"Why are you getting even more stupid?" Aroben yelled in anger. "We could attack or defend as we needed? There are many things we could have moved forward on instead of going back. We have killed Shamash, where do you think we could go back to?"
Anfey and Urter looked at each other. It was not surprising that Anfey felt the way he did, since he did not know Aroben well. Urter was wide-eyed in shock. Urter never remembered Aroben being so aggressive. Aroben used to try to make everyone happy and not to piss anyone off. He had a great reputation in Violet City. He had a good relationship with royal families. Civilians respected him. However, he was totally a different person now.
"What should we do now?" Anfey smiled bitterly. He had been in this world a long time and understood how much power a royal family could have. It was already very risky to kill Shamash. Anfey never thought he would kill Marquis Djoser in a justified way. He did not forget his own profession. If Marquis Djoser became too much trouble, he would assassinate him someday.
"Wait," Aroben said.
"We can only wait?" Anfey asked.
"If I am guessing right, General Miorich should be reading the office files sent by us. He will make a judgement soon. We will wait and see how Marquis Djoser will react," Aroben said.
"Miorich?" A passionate and energetic image appeared in Anfey’s mind.
"Yes, the generals are usually in charge of all the military administration during the war, so General Miorich is in charge of it now. Master, do you know General Miorich?" Aroben noticed something unusual about Anfey.
"Did you forget who my master is?" Anfey smiled.
"Master, things will get better if you know General Miorich," Aroben said, looking excited.
"What relation could I have with General Miorich? He thinks I am only a kid." Anfey could not help shaking his head.