"Currently, the situation in the Tumen Commercial Union is very unstable. Among the seventeen mayors, nine of them firmly advocated the original position, while the other eight mayors responded ambiguously, they—"
"I'm not listening to that! Just say what's important!" Yolanthe said.
Yolanthe was sitting on the throne in the main hall. The strange thing was that there were only two people in the whole main hall; there were no guards or ministers. The one sitting on the throne was Yolanthe, and the other was a gray shadow covered in gray smoke.
"According to our analysis, their target was Saul. The whole action was chaired by the Black Ghost. But, surprisingly, Saul did not go to see Basdack, so their plan failed."
"Young people nowadays really have the courage to challenge themselves, even wanting to deal with the greatest archmage..." Yolanthe laughed. "I admire their courage."
"Your Majesty, my people told me that the Black Ghost is very confident. I think that... this self-confidence is not arrogance."
"Self-confidence? Was Basdack on their side?"
"We don't know." The gray figure shook his head.
"Continue." Yolanthe closed his eyes, as if meditating.
"Saul recruited a young man from an isolated island, named Anfey, to be his apprentice..."
"Wait! Anfey? I think... this is the second time I have heard that name," Yolanthe said. "Yes, our beautiful pearl came to me to ask for a magic-concealing crystal for Anfey!"
"Yes, Anfey is living in Saul's home now." The gray figure nodded his head. "Back to Saul, though. Later, he stayed in the Rose House Hotel in Wild Willow City. The Black Ghost was not willing to fail. They first sent people to lure Saul and Ernest away, and then were ready to seize Anfey. They had Ghost Master Layton control Anfey's soul to trap Saul. Your Majesty, here I want to say that the Black Ghost did not know the middle-aged man was Master Swordsman Ernest, or they would not have risked doing this!"
"That's a problem. The Black Ghost should not have made such a foolish mistake!" Yolanthe shook his head. "Even if the black ghost made a mistake, do not forget their master, Magic Fog. This mysterious organization has been secretly developing for hundreds of years. Their forces were very large, and even I knew that Master Swordsman Ernest was accompanying Saul; they had no reason not to know!"
"Your Majesty, what do you mean..."
"I felt like someone wanted to let the Black Ghost die, but... killing Saul was the most important task of the Magic Fog organization, so I'm not sure. Maybe my judgment was wrong?" Yolanthe pondered a while. "Well, you may continue."
"On that night, Saul and Ernest were fooled and led astray. However, in the Rose House Hotel, a strong, mysterious man suddenly appeared and saved Anfey by destroying the Black Ghost's plan, eventually killing the Black Ghost.
"Oh? Interesting..." Yolanthe smiled.
"Your Majesty, there was something even more interesting."
"Besides the three people in Saul's party, there were twenty-one guests in the Rose House Hotel that day: two businessmen with eight bodyguards, a couple that seemed to be having an affair, a small mercenary group of six men, and three prostitutes staying on the third floor as permanent residents. My subordinates tested them and found that the strongest one was only a middle-level swordsman!"
"The owner of the Rose House Hotel had a lower-level title denoting his family's loyalty. There are a total of thirteen people in his home. The hotel employed four male waiters, all less than 20 years old, and two maids. We did a detailed investigation on all those people, but none could have posed a threat to the Black Ghost!"
"You mean... that strong, mysterious man fell out of the sky?"
"No, sir, there was a man present who should not be forgotten!"
"Sure enough... Interesting!" Yolanthe's big hand was stroking the huge sapphires, pondering. "Have you investigated Anfey?"
"We just performed an investigation."
"What kind of person is he? What do you think?"
"An idiot, a very naive idiot," the gray figure slowly said. "Based on our observations, Anfey simply cannot be that strong, mysterious man. He only has weak magic fluctuations in his body, which are easily ignored, and he has no combat power. But from all the clues collected from the Rose House Hotel, Anfey should be suspected the most!
"It seems... we should send someone to test Anfey."
"Your Majesty, that is not necessary."
"When my group was doing their investigation, we found the Magic Fog group was doing the same. After the Black Ghost was killed, they stopped all actions against Saul, instead focusing their investigation on the Black Ghost's death. What we have done, they have done too. Anfey attracted their attention as well." The gray figure paused. "The Magic Fog group has sneaked into the sacred city in batches!"
"What do you think the result will be?"
"If Anfey was really that strong, mysterious man, the Magic Fog people will not be Anfey's opponent! Anfey was able to kill the Black Ghost without using any combat power. Once he begins to use that power, he will be unstoppable. With Ernest's help, Anfey will not lose the battle with the Magic Fog group. Please, your Majesty, please pay attention. Anfey must have a unique way to completely hide his power! If we can master this method, we will have a huge advantage!"
"You said that Anfey was recruited as Saul's apprentice on that island? Before this, where did Anfey come from?"
"I don't know. It seems... no one knows."
"Well, let the Magic Fog test Anfey, and we can wait for the results, but..." Yolanthe lowered his voice and said, "No matter what the results are, kill all the Magic Fog people!!"
"Yes." That gray figure nodded. "Your Majesty, the oldest prince..."
"There's no need for you to care, and I have my own thoughts." Yolanthe waved his hand.
"Yes, your Majesty."
Anfey could hide his real self from Saul and Ernest, but, under the empire's impermeable investigation, some people had already paid attention to him. However, Anfey didn't know any of this.
The next morning, Anfey got up, putting on clothes as usual, and knocked on the door to Ernest's room.
"Boy, it is still dark. I really doubt you are a magician!" Ernest said while opening the door.
"Uncle Ernest, can we go running together?" Anfey laughed.
"Running? Like what you did yesterday?"
"Yeah, don't use any combat power. Run the entire course depending on the body's original strength."
"The old man in the village taught you this?"
"Ah." Anfey nodded.
Ernest hesitated. Running blindly like a fool? Other people certainly would laugh at him. He had never seen this method, but it was still dawn, so most of the people in Saul's home were sleeping. Why not give it a try? Maybe this would be a unique practice for the elderly!
"Well, wait for me."
A moment later, Ernest and Anfey were running in the garden trails. Anfey's movements were natural and coordinated, full of energy, but Ernest constantly looked around, fearing that anyone would see him. His eyes soon fell on Anfey's feet. He noticed that Anfey's running pace didn't change, but sometimes he ran with the toes, and sometimes with the heels. Ernest could not help but learn from Anfey.
Anfey gradually accelerated his speed, Ernest following immediately on his side.
Ernest did not even use any combat power, since his physical strength was still far above Anfey's. After a few laps, Anfey was already out of breath, but Ernest seemed like nothing had happened.
"Uncle Ernest, how did you feel?" Anfey stopped, relaxing his shoulders.
"Pretty good." Ernest imitated Anfey's movements. "What's next? Let's try the swords again."
"Sure," Anfey answered very readily.
"Where is your sword?" Ernest was overjoyed.
"Today I am not using a sword!" Anfey smiled very mysteriously. In fact, he was ready a long time ago.
"What will you use?" Ernest was surprised.
"Uncle Ernest, promise me. You will neither use combat power nor cut my weapon with your sword, or you lose!"
"Good boy, let's begin and let me see what tricks you have!" Ernest was interested.
"Be careful not to lose, Uncle Ernest!" Anfey's hand was touching the other side of the tree.