An army was not a place to show off. Everyone knew that the fastest way to victory was to take down the head of the army. A leader would make himself a moving target if he dressed in such an eye-catching way. This man was either a fool or was powerful enough to know that no one would try to target him.
Anfey watched the army carefully. The general wore a silver mask and held a black lance in his hand. It was the only thing on him that was not silver. The stallion he rode, clad in silver chainmail, was taller than the other horses and wearing a mask like its rider. Its legs were thick and strong, but its steps were almost as light as the other ones.
Anfey glanced at Urter, and the latter walked up, ready to greet the riders. The leader raised his hand, and the entire army halted. The lance in his hand pointed steadily at Anfey.
Anfey felt his body grow heavy, as if under great pressure. Next to him, Suzanna frowned. She handed the basket to Black Eleven and stepped forward, placing herself between Anfey and the rider, her hand gripping her sword.
They were originally intending to welcome the new arrivals, and it was inappropriate for her to act so hostile. She knew she did not have any other choice, however, because she could feel how powerful the rider was, even though he was still a hundred feet away. Except for her mentor, Suzanna had never met someone this powerful.
After a few moments of silence, the rider suddenly began charging towards the group. Blinding combat power obscured the man and his horse’s shape. Anfey summoned his bow quickly. He did not know what the man wanted to do or why, but there was no time to lose.
As the rider grew closer, Anfey suddenly saw a familiar face, grinning at him. He stopped his movements, and shook his head with a smile. Suzanna, however, did not notice. She was too focused on the rider, and did not notice anything else.
The rider was one man, but the way he charged felt like a thousand men. Suzanna felt as if the air around her had frozen and felt a strange fear awaken within her.
The crowd dispersed in fear, and Urter frowned. He turned to look at Anfey, who simply shook his head, then sighed and stared at the rider.
"Stop it!" Apa called. This sudden change in things caught him off guard. He only wanted to prevent the conflict. Black Eleven handed the basket to Iliverny and pulled out his sword, ready to join the fight. The rider had left all of his soldiers behind, so clearly he wanted to fight them himself. Black Eleven, however, did not plan to let Suzanna fight him by herself. The man was too powerful, and the only way they could possibly win was to attack him together.
Suzanna was even faster than he was. Before Black Eleven could do anything, she was already dashing towards the rider, her body enveloped in bright combat power. Suzanna knew that her opponent was much more powerful than she was, and she couldn’t take a blow from the rider if she was standing still.
Anfey wasn’t able to grab Suzanna before she dashed out, but he was able to stop Black Eleven. He wanted to call out to Suzanna, but he was too late, and Suzanna clashed with the rider.
Suzanna’s body was thrown back at the impact, and she fell to the ground with a thud. The tip of the lance was buried in the ground, and the shaft was bent. Clearly, the lance was well made, and the rider himself was powerful beyond imagination. His horse whinnied loudly.
"Suzanna," Anfey called. "Are you alright?" He moved to help her up.
"I'll be fine," Suzanna said, standing up slowly. "He wasn’t using his full power." Suzanna felt that the man was much more powerful than she was, and thought that she was as good as dead. Even though she was thrown back, she was not seriously injured.
The rider backed away a few steps and jumped off of his horse. He pulled his lance out of the ground and walked towards Anfey. He took off his mask and grinned widely.
"General Miorich!" Anfey called happily. He grabbed Suzanna and walked over to greet the man.
Miorich lifted a brow.
"Miorich," Anfey said quickly.
Miorich smiled and nodded. He turned and looked at Suzanna, his eyes full of admiration.
Apa felt awkward, standing there holding his order and his relic. He had not thought about the possibility of Anfey knowing the rider. He returned the order and the relic to his pocket, glad no one had noticed.
The crowd was silent, staring at Miorich. They all heard Anfey. Miorich was one of the most powerful men in the entire empire. He played one of the most important roles in the recent war. Along with Saul, Baery, and Philip, he was one of the four most important men in the empire. His name was no stranger to anyone.
"What did I say? Suzanna is good!" Two carriages appeared behind Miorich, and Niya and Christian appeared.
Niya hurried over, took Suzanna’s hand into hers, and said, "Suzanna, you aren’t hurt, are you?"
"I’ll be fine," Suzanna said, glancing at Miorich. Even though it was not clear who had won, she knew she was the loser. This was the first time she had lost to a stranger in a fair fight, and it felt strange.
"I told you Suzanna was good, but you didn’t believe me," Niya said, pointing at Miorich. "This was all his idea." She had wanted to talk to Anfey, but changed the topic when she realized he looked slightly angry.
Miorich frowned. He had never seen Niya explain anything to anyone before.
Urter glanced at Anfey and frowned. He did not know who this new girl was, but she must be important if she could be so casual when she talked with Miorich.
"Why are you guys here?" Anfey asked.
"We heard you got bullied and we came to help you," Niya announced.
Niya’s voice was very loud, and everyone in the crowd looked at each other. Anfey killed the Marquis’s son, and everyone knew about it. Who would bully him? Did the Marquis begin his revenge already?
"My lord," Urter said, walking over. The patrolmen behind him began waving their flowers. Miorich’s arrival came as a surprise, and there was no time or resources to prepare a welcome ceremony.
"I’m just here to check up on Anfey," Miorich said. "This isn’t necessary."
"Yes, my lord," Urter said. He gestured his men to stop waving the flowers. Iliverny walked over and handed Suzanna the basket. Before she could take it, Niya jumped over and took it from him.
"It is you!" she chirped as she lifted the fabric. "I missed you, little guy," she said, holding out her hand.
The unicorn looked at her, but did not move.
"This is the unicorn?" Miorich asked. Dragon riders were already things of legend, and a unicorn was the next best thing. If a rider could tame a unicorn, then the rider’s strength would increase by tenfold.
"Don’t you even think about it," Niya said before Anfey could say anything. She hugged the unicorn and stared at Miorich, as if she was afraid he would try to take it from her.
Miorich smiled and shook his head. He waved his arm, and his men began marching forward.