"Christian, can you read those?"
"No," Christian said, shaking his head. "Those are ancient. Hui Wei should know them."
"Too bad he’s not here," Anfey said and sighed. "Come on, let’s go check this place out."
This inn was called Home of the Mages, and was a combination of an inn and a bar. The first floor had a large bar, and the people there were much quieter than the mercenaries. There were multiple conversations, but people kept their voices low so they did not to disturb others. Compared to the clamor and the madness often seen in bars in Country of Mercenaries, this was a big change. Back in Country of Mercenaries, the bars were dim and there would be people dancing on the tables. Here, magic lamps lined the wall and lit up every corner of the bar. People kept to themselves and did not cause any trouble.
A few mages turned and saw Anfey and Niya walking in through the door. Niya was beautiful enough to make the men ignore the fact that she was not a mage, but the women all rolled their eyes at her apparent ignorance.
Everyone’s expression changed when Suzanna appeared through the door. Senior swordsmasters were rare, and what was even rarer was such a young swordsmaster. Swordsmen preferred their swords, and mages used their minds and tended to be more cautious than swordsmen. Of course, there were idiotic mages and brilliant swordsmen.
"Would you like rooms or drinks, my lords?" the owner of the inn walked over and asked.
"Two of your best rooms," Anfey instructed.
"Two?" Niya asked, frowning.
"That’s enough. I’m staying with Suzanna."
"What? I’m not gonna stay with Christian," Niya said, frowning. Her voice attracted attention of a few mages sitting nearby.
Christian frowned. He knew that Anfey’s behavior today was too strange, even for him. He had to ask what was going on.
"You can stay in our room if you want," Anfey said. "The three of us…" He suddenly ducked and barely moved out of the way of Niya’s kick. His reflexes were much faster than a normal person’s, but he still did not see Niya’ movement. Niya lost her balance and stumbled, almost falling to the ground. Suzanna reached over and grabbed her arm, helping her stand still. The owner frowned and did not say anything.
The mages around them all frowned. Swordsmen were just that. They were too coarse and too unrefined. Niya may be beautiful, but she clearly lacked a mage’s grace.
"Calm down," Anfey said, grinning. "Calm down. Aren’t we friends? Let’s talk peacefully."
"Are you trying to get to me?" Niya asked angrily. She narrowed her eyes, then gathered herself. "Fine, alright. We will see what happens when we’re back in Sacred City." Niya may have been young and naive, but she was not stupid. She already had a plan to deal with this.
"What?" Anfey asked, feeling uneasy.
"I’m going to tell everyone you made me sleep in the same bed as you," Niya said with a smirk.
Christian’s eyes widened, and Suzanna froze. Since she was the daughter of Saul, Niya’s words were more credible and more powerful than all three of them combined. She could make people believe her.
"Stop joking around, I’m just kidding!" Anfey explained hurriedly. He did not know if Saul would have believed Niya, but he knew that Prince Grandon would. Even though he knew that the prince was not an idiot, he was young. Young people tended to be more irrational and sensitive. He did not need a prince hating him.
Niya smiled when she heard Anfey’s panicked explanation. She ignored him and turned to the inn owner and said, "Have you prepared our rooms yet?"
"Third floor," the owner said hurriedly, handing her a set of keys. "Hope you enjoy, my lady."
"Niya, I’m sorry, alright? I’m sorry about that." Anfey was scared. He knew that Niya was not afraid to do as she said and would tell everyone he forced her to sleep in his bed.
"Too late," Niya said with a giggle. She followed a maid and began walking up the stairs.
"Suzanna, can you talk to her? I don’t need my reputation tarnished," Anfey said. He was hoping that another woman could get to Niya easier.
Suzanna looked at Niya, then she turned to Anfey and smiled. "You deserved that," she said. Then she laughed and followed Niya.
"Christian!" Anfey turned and said. "You see that? They do not appreciate my effort at all!"
"She’s not wrong, you know," Christian said. "You do deserve it. I can help you with other things, but you’ve got to solve this by yourself. You asked for this." Christian laughed and felt more at ease. Anfey had been acting strange all morning, and he felt a strange pleasure seeing Anfey at a disadvantage.
Anfey sighed and smiled. He wasn’t worried about the money. He was going to stay with Christian and have Niya and Suzanna share a room.
"Do you need an extra room, my lord?" the inn owner asked.
"No, it’s fine," Anfey said. "We only need two." He glanced around the lobby again and began going up the stairs.
After Anfey disappeared, one of the mages frowned. "You see those people?" she asked with a scowl. "I say they are some country bumpkins who have never seen the city."
"I don’t know," her friend said. "Did you see that swordsmaster? I can sense it. She’s different from the others. And the mage. I think they’re different. I don’t think they’re common people."
"That other guy seemed familiar," another mage said, frowning. "His name sounds interesting as well. What was it again?"
"Wasn’t it Anfey? The guy that got a Medal of Mars?" one of the mages suddenly said.
The mages around the man suddenly became very lively. Some people thought a man like that couldn’t be a hero, but others thought it must have been him, because it was such an unusual name. There was a senior swordsmaster, and the other two with Anfey must be powerful as well. Only a team composed of the most powerful could create such a stir.
After a few minutes, another group of men walked in. The leader was tall and lean. His face was covered in scars that twisted his features. Such a terrifying man seemed out of place in the lobby of this inn. He had a child with him, the child that had accepted Anfey’s coins. Normally, such a face would spook a child, but the boy seemed completely at ease next to the man.
The mages in the room all stood up and greeted the man politely. "Viscount Nana," the owner of the inn called and walked over.
The man waved his hand and said, "Was there just a group of four here?"
"Yes," the owner of the inn said. "My lord, are they fugitives?"
"No," Nana said, shaking his head. "They are my friends. Where are they?"