Niya and the other three people all looked at Anfey after Miorich’s question. They were as interested in those questions as Miorich. Miorich’s questioning was simple and direct. In fact, it would work the best in many cases, for example now. Miorich closely watched Anfey’s facial expressions to try to catch any change on his face.
Anfey looked hesitant. He knew criminal psychology well. He had studied it to counter questioning from the police and to understand his opponents and his peers. If he told them the answer right away, it would actually cause them to doubt whether he was telling the truth. It was better for Anfey to look hesitant. It would sound more convincing after being asked a couple times. If he could find some evidence to support what he said, it would be even better.
"Tell us," Niya urged. "Anfey, why are you hesitating? You are not thinking of lying to us, are you?"
"I, I can not…" Anfey smiled bitterly.
"Actually, it is not a secret anymore," Miorich said. "Master Saul has learned a lot about you from Ernest. Anfey, please don’t think Ernest was doing anything to hurt you. He had to speak up for you and explain what happened, since Master Saul was super angry with you."
"So…you all know about it?" Anfey was actually quite happy about it inside. It sounded a lot better and more convincing if Ernest told them about it instead of himself.
"Yes, you learned the martial arts from an anonymous old man. The name of your village head is Ben Ladeng, but you could remember the name of your village. Am I right?" Miorich asked.
"Yes, I was too young when I was taken away by Yagor. I barely remember anything. All the memories seem blurry to me. It will be great if I could see the village again," Anfey said.
"Our king has ordered the whole empire to look for your village head called Bin Laden. Unfortunately, we have not found him yet. The areas he could be should not be too large since the island Yagor hid himself on should not be too far from it. Bin Laden should not live beyond the territory of Tumen Commercial Union and Maho Empire. Yagor would not go beyond those territories to look for young kids to do experiments. Is my analysis right?" Miorich asked.
Anfey thought to himself, "It would be a miracle if you could find a village head called Ben Ladeng. People in my world have searched for him with hundreds of satellites, day and night, but still could not find him. The scale of your search was nothing." Anfey looked like he was deep in thought. He slowly nodded, "It should be like that."
"Anfey, do you remember how long it took for you to get back to that isolated island after Yagor caught you? Did Yagor used levitation magic to travel? Did you take any wagons?" Miorich was trying to figure out the time and speed they travelled. He could use the time and mode of transportation to do a rough calculation estimate where Bin Laden could be.
"I remember I was flying at the beginning, and then I was in the wagon later. There were a few other kids with me. After about two or three days, we reached the island," Anfey said.
"Are you sure you are not remembering it wrong?" Miorich asked.
"I was really scared, so I remember it clearly," Anfey said.
"Is Yagor that lonely and weird archmage? Anfey, what did he do to you after he caught you?" Niya asked in curiosity.
"An experiment," Anfey said with a bitter smile.
"What kind of experiment?" Niya asked.
"Yagor started to study dark magic to break through the bottleneck. Anfey and many other innocent kids all became his lab subjects," Miorich answered Niya.
"Oh my god, he is so devious," Niya gasped. She felt bad for Anfey and looked to him with great kindness. "Anfey, poor guy."
Suzanna felt worse than Niya. She wanted to hold Anfey’s hand to give him some courage when she saw Anfey was sad recalling his old memories. However, the round table in the center was ruined by Miorich. Without anything to cover Suzanna, she felt awkward and dared not to make any intimate movement towards Anfey.
"Our king has sent people to search every inch of that isolated island to seek any valuable information. We only found a few items and many magic crystals and magic tools buried underground." Miorich looked up to watch Anfey.
"I buried them." Anfey felt he was in trouble. As he got better with magic, he slowly came to understand the value of the stuff Yagor left after his death. The reason he led Suzanna away from the group was to get the coins in the magic beast forest and retrieve Yagor’s estate. No one would think Yagor’s estate would belong to Yolanthe now.
That island was quite large. He had hid Yagor’s belongings pretty well. It meant that Yolanthe had sent a lot of people and searched for a long time. This also showed what a powerful country could do. Anfey felt bad losing Yagor’s estate, but he could not show it on his face. He had to fake a normal face.
"Why did you bury them?" Miorich asked.
"I was left alone and scared on that isolated island. I learned a lot from the other kids and Yagor. If I had to make a conclusion, I would say people are harsh," Anfey sighed. "Yagor is an archmage. His estate would definitely attract many people, so I tried to wipe out any trace that Yagor left. This way even when someone found the island, he would only see me. I am just a regular person so he would not have interest in me," Anfey said.
"People are harsh?" Christian said in a low voice. "Anfey, weren’t you just a little kid?"
"Kids would change as their environments change. They could grow mature fast," Anfey said slowly. "Christian, you would not understand the fear those kids had to face. Every time Yagor decided to do an experiment, he would take one kid from us. That kid never came back, and then there was a new anonymous tomb on the island. As time went by, we all got to know what Yagor’s magic experiments meant. We tried to please Yagor to live longer. We even learned to set up other kids to make Yagor get angry at them so Yagor would take them for the experiment. We would be living longer this way," Anfey said.
"When we were sick, we could not let anyone know about it, otherwise Yagor would definitely take you away because he did not want you to get other kids sick. We could not eat too much either even when we were hungry. We could only have a few bites to stop the hunger. Yagor did not want others to know where he resided. Food was a big problem. He hated to go out to do grocery shopping, and hated any kid who ate a lot. He picked the kids who ate more first. We had to do a lot of chores. We had to find some chores to do if we finished our own assignments. Yagor would think the kids useful if they could do chores. Unless there were only a few kids left, he would not think of using the kids who liked to do chores as the experimental subjects." Anfey’s smiles added more sadness at the right time. "We did these things to please Yagor. We also had to be alert about being set up by other kids. To survive, kids organized themselves into groups in different sizes to help each other. Of course, it was to counter other groups as well. They would cheer if the kids from other groups were taken away by Yagor. They also would feel sad and desperate when kids from the same group were taken away."
When they heard what Anfey said, they all looked serious. The living conditions Anfey had described were hell, without doubt. What Anfey told them was true. It all came from the memory of the previous owner of this body.
"They learned to disclose others’ weaknesses in a secret way. They mastered the skills to tell when Yagor was happy and sad. They got used to provoking others on purpose and putting on a show as victims in front of Yagor. All of these were to help them live a few days longer and send other kids to be the experimental subjects before themselves," Anfey said slowly. "Christian, it is not too much to describe it as harsh, is it?"
Miorich and others in the living room were all shocked to hear what kind of life Anfey had. They could imagine the desperate and sad group of little kids trying to survive under the threat of death. Suzanna and Niya had tears in their eyes. In their experience, Anfey was a sophisticated man, but they did not think Anfey grew up in such a hell. The fear he had could have made anyone crazy, but Anfey had survived.
Suzanna’s face has changed the most. She thought her experiences were too much. She had experienced many more dangers for her age than others. However, compared with Anfey, she definitely lived in a heaven.
"Were you the last survivor?" Miorich asked quietly.
"Yes. I would not have survived if Yagor had not made mistakes in the experiment," Anfey said.
Miorich sighed. He was indeed touched by Anfey’s story, but he also thought deeper than Christian and others. There were 617 bodies of kids found on the island. What did it mean? It meant Anfey beat all of them and hung on there to the last. It also meant Anfey was the smartest, toughest, and the most observant and flexible, since those 617 dead bodies were the proof.
If adding another comment about Anfey, it would be that Anfey was terrifying. Who would know how many of those kids died because of Anfey? Of course, Miorich did not want to continue on that issue. It had become past. What Anfey did was not totally unreasonable. He lived in conditions where either Anfey died or someone else died. Anfey had to live by sending other kids to be the experimental subjects.
Miorich had not thought too much about it when Yolanthe thought Anfey was important. Anfey had not left him much of a positive impression. He learned what Anfey had achieved later on and changed his impression of Anfey. Now he thought Anfey was extremely important. People like Anfey who got out of the hell must be very special. If Miorich had to experience the same thing as Anfey did, he did not think he would be the only survivor himself.