Chapter 234: The Courage To Let Go
Miorich led his men out of Violet City at the crack of dawn. At the center of the guards were the carriages carrying Anfey and his friends. After learning that Miorich was leaving the city, many people gathered to send him off. This may seem like a testament to how beloved Miorich was, but in truth the people of Violet City were simply scared. They had just experienced a brutal war, and many of the people were still terrified that the Shansa armies would return. Miorich’s presence reassured them. On the other hand, Miorich had always had a good reputation. The people of the city did not want to see someone like him go.
Anfey frowned and turned to Urter. "You should go back now," he said.
"I won’t let you down," Urter said sincerely.
Anfey blinked, then smiled. He was surprised that Urter could tell what he was thinking, and smiled because he had made a juvenile mistake.
"Alright," Anfey said. "I trust you." He nodded at Urter again and turned towards the carriage.
He was worried about Urter. It wasn’t that he did not trust the man. He worried how Urter would fare when he was away. If Marquis Djoser could publicly challenge Anfey, what would the man do to Urter? If the marquis was serious about this fight, Urter would have no chance of winning. Even though Anfey still did not consider this world as his home and all his decisions were made to benefit himself, Urter and he shared a secret. He was worried that Urter would use that secret to exchange for his life.
After seeing Urter’s determination, however, Anfey realized he was overthinking the situation. Being totally in control of everything was not always a right move. He needed to have the courage to let go and let things happen. The labyrinth beneath the mansion may not be a treasure trove, and even if it was, it was Urter who discovered it first. If Urter wanted to tell someone else about it, Anfey had no right to say otherwise. It was better if he could be more relaxed instead of worrying what was happening in Violet City all the time.
Next to him, Niya jumped onto the carriage with Miorich’s help. She looked at the crowd and sniffled. She did not want to leave this city. After all, she was a very emotional person.
Miorich lowered the curtains on Niya’s carriage. His movement was very natural and did not consider whether this was appropriate or not. He had been taking care of Niya ever since she was young. Whenever Niya fell asleep at his place, it was he who carried her to a bed. When Niya was in trouble, it was Miorich who vouched for her. Like Yolanthe, Miorich treated Niya like his own daughter. Miorich had one daughter, but she was blind and insecure, and almost never left her home. Niya was her only friend, and the only one that could make her smile. Miorich was very grateful for Niya because of this.
Niya was a very emotional person, and her moods would change very fast. She and Shally began arguing about something only a few minutes after Niya disappeared into the carriage.
Anfey lifted the curtain to see what was happening, and saw Shally looking at him, pouting. "She’s bullying me," Shally accused.
"She’s leaving," Niya said quickly. She wasn’t afraid of Anfey, especially with Miorich present. She was just worried that it would ruin her image if the words of her bullying a child got out.
"You were!" Shally said.
"What are you looking at?" Niya scolded. She frowned at Anfey and pulled the curtains down. "Fine, fine. I was joking, alright? Here, have what you want."
"Anfey!" Miorich called and waved at him.
"What is it?"
"I ordered three thousand of my men to come here from Blackania City," Miorich said. "To keep the city safe. The general was my student and I had already told him to get acquainted with Urter." Miorich paused for a moment before continuing, "Don’t worry. As long as they’re here the marquis can’t do anything."
"Thank you so much," Anfey said sincere
ly. He had realized that all the important players in Maho Empire’s court were used to political intrigue. Not only Yolanthe, but even Miorich kept surprising him. Whatever plan he came up with, Miorich had already executed it.
The familiar people tended to the the strangest, but this was the only thing Anfey could do. He did not know Saul, and he was not brave enough to know Saul because he was afraid Saul would see through all his secrets instead. Judging from what he knew about Miorich and Yolanthe, Saul would not be a simple man, either. Thankfully he did not spend a long time with him, else he might have figured out what Anfey was hiding.
"Don’t thank me," Miorich said with a smile. "I'm just looking out for my friends."
"I can’t forsake all formality," Anfey said, grinning. "Will you return to Sacred City with us?"
"Yes. Why, do you think it’s inconvenient?"
"No, no, of course not. I’m just worried that something may…happen on the way there." Anfey knew that there must be a reason Miorich was accompanying them back to Sacred City, or else he would not be so persistent. They would not have time to go retrieve the treasures they left behind. On the other hand, this may be a good plan. The rest of the team knew about the treasure as well. If they tried to retrieve it without telling Saul about it, it might damage their reputation.
"Ernest said you’re a clever one," Miorich said. "He’s not wrong. But sometimes you are not all that smart."
"What did I do wrong?"
"You thwarted the necromancers’ plan, which is good, but you don't need everyone knowing your name."
"Of course, it’s not all your fault. Slanbrea is famous for having a loose tongue," Miorich said with a sigh. "Nothing stays a secret with him."
"Will necromancers do anything?"
"They’re with the Evil Mist," Miorich said gravely. "You don’t know how terrible those people are, Anfey. His Majesty had been ruling for decades, but still rarely leaves Sacred City. Do you know why?"
"Is he worried about assassination attempts?"
"They can achieve anything as long as they want to," Miorich said, shaking his head. "His Majesty isn’t scared, but there is no need to risk everything."
"Does that mean we have to stay low?"
"There’s no use staying low when your enemy is the Evil Mist, son," Miorich said with a sigh. "You are already a target, but I don’t know what they will do to get to you."
"Me? Aren’t they overreacting a bit?"
"You were the one that foiled their assassination attempt on Saul. You were the one that killed their men in Sacred City, and you were the one that thwarted their plan in Country of Mercenaries. Annunciata is one of the five elders of Evil Mist, and it was you who led Slanbrea to her. Why wouldn’t they target you?"
"Those necromancers are pure evil! I couldn’t have just let them turn people into zombies!" Anfey did not regret destroying the necromancers’ plan the way he regretted killing Philip’s grandson. The necromancers were evil and should be destroyed. Their actions threatened the safety of Moramatch and people living there. It was better to gain an upper hand than to wait until the threat became too real.
"Your words are meaningless to me, and even more so to them," Miorich said. "The only solution is your weapon."
Anfey shrugged. He agreed with Miorich on this matter. He, too, often resorted to violence to solve the problem.
"If that old fox is willing to give you Heart of Nature, then…" Miorich’s voice trailed off.
"What does that have to do with Evil Mist?"
"Heart of Nature can cancel out most side effects of death magic and would be very helpful. Besides, Bruzuryano is an Arch Druid, and he can sense Heart of Nature at all times. Which means he can easily find you as long as you are wearing the Heart," Miorich said. He paused and glanced around. "Maybe he’s observing us right now."