"Master Saul… there was a small accident," Granden said, raising his voice.
"Accident? What accident?"
"To show that Wester and I can’t stand each other, my father acquiesced in sending Wester to do something."
"Your Majesty, could you just finish the story?" Saul shook his head.
"Wester sent someone after Niya. He was going to imprison her to threaten you. That way, he could gain trust from the King of the Ellisen Empire. Of course, Father only wanted to imprison Niya for a few days, then send someone to save her and take her to Zuba City. You then would have a perfect reason to help me fight against Wester." Granden smiled reluctantly. "Master Saul, in my opinion, this arrangement was very smart. The Ellisen Empire would grab this opportunity once they know about it. If we evacuate quickly, they would not have time for thorough considerations. They would have no choice but to attack us and fall into our trap."
"Your Majesty, is there…something happened to Niya?" Saul got nervous based on the way Granden was telling the story. Granden was very indirect and still didn’t reveal what exactly happened to Niya.
"Niya should be fine by now. Your students have already left Sacred City."
"What do you mean she should be fine? Your Majesty, please tell me what happened?!" Saul got even more nervous.
"Master Saul, you know, a magister called Brufit was in Wester’s team. He was from the Magic Fog. As you know, Father worked with people from the Magic Fog twenty-some years ago. They have been rivals ever since. The Magic Fog made many attempts on Father’s life."
"I know about it. Your Father started a spy organization called Hurricane to fight against Magic Fog. At the time, your Father even laughed about it: Hurricane could drive Fog away," Saul said, "Your Father also said Hurricane could only grow so quick and strong, since Magic Fog was such a solid rival."
"Master Saul, do you still remember the magic array you set up? As soon as a Necromancer stepped into the palace, the magic array would start running. Brufit was hiding from everyone and gained Wester’s trust. However, Father sensed something wrong from the very beginning," Granden continued, "so Father…"
Saul stopped Granden. "Your Majesty, you…are straying away from the topic again. I just want to know what happened to Niya."
Granden forced himself to tell the truth. He was being indirect because he did not know how to tell Saul about the events in Sacred City. Everyone knew Saul was deeply in love with Niya. Granden worried that Saul would not be able to control his emotions. At this point, however, he had to be honest. "Wester sent Brufit after Niya. Brufit somehow knew Zeda from Phillip’s group. In the end, Zeda went with some helpers."
"Zeda?" Saul paused. He had heard about Zeda. When he hung out with friends, everyone was talking about how the Phillip group was like the sinking sun and would become dark soon. Old Phillip was still alive. People didn’t stop Zeda no matter what he did. However, once Phillip passed away, the good times would soon come to an end. The fate of Phillip’s team was obvious. If they were missing a powerful leader, the group would go into decline for sure. Distant relatives could not inherit Phillip’s title. Zeda was the only successor.
"Yes," Granden sighed.
"What did Zeda do to Niya?" Saul pulled a long face. No one could stop him from killing Zeda if Zeda really had taken advantage of Niya.
"Niya is fine," Granden forced a smile, "Zeda brought some helpers. Maris, the one you kicked out of your group, was one of the helpers. The problem is…Zeda died."
Saul frowned. He didn’t hear the last sentence but he realized Anfey would be in danger as soon as he heard Maris’ name.
"Anfey died?" Saul asked nervously.
"Master Saul, Niya and your students are all fine. They killed Zeda!" Granden emphasized.
Saul was shocked. He put himself in Phillip’s shoes. If Niya was hurt, he would definitely seek revenge for her. Now that Zeda was killed, what would Phillip do?
"Father did not anticipate this ending," Granden said with sorrow.
"Zeda…how…did he die?" Saul spoke one word at a time.
"He was stabbed by a sword."
"Ernest was mad at him!" Saul screamed, "This guy is very antisocial and always does what he feels like. He didn’t know Zeda was Phillip’s grandson. Even if he knew, he would not stop if Zeda stirred up trouble in my domain. Your Father…Didn’t your Father know Ernest was in my house? How come he didn’t think of that?"
"Father took that into account. He had Miorich call Ernest out for a duel. Father said Ernest would not refuse."
"Ernest came and beat Miorich."
"Then… who killed Zeda?" Saul was confused. He could not think of anyone from his family who would be able kill Zeda, a senior swordsman.
"I don’t know. Father didn’t tell me the details. However…Father said congratulations."
"Father said you will have a powerful magic swordsman student in ten years if everything goes well."
"Magic swordsman? Who is it?"
"I don’t know. Father didn’t say."
Saul hoped that he could get back to Sacred City right away and ask Yolanthe. However, he had to stay for the Magister Tower. He knew that thousands of people’s lives were a lot more important than figuring out the question in his heart.
"Headache…what a headache! " Saul said rubbing his forehead. Although Phillip was much older than he, they were good friends with much to talk about. They respected each other. There was never much conflict of interest. All of that contributed to the strong friendship between the two. However, this great relationship was about to end. He knew that Phillip would take revenge for what happened to Zeda, and he could not let Phillip hurt his student. There are many conflicts that can be prevented, and there are some that cannot. Once such a conflict occurs, both sides will have no way out. The only way out is to fight till the end.
"It is troublesome for Father as well…" Granden forced a smile.
"How is Ernest? Did you hear from him?" Saul thought of something else: "Ernest is stubborn. He only goes forward but never turns back. If he fights against Phillip, I am afraid…he will suffer a big loss."
"I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything about him since he separated from Miorich."
"Phillip’s hot temper…Is Niya safe? Should I … go back?" Saul knew it was impossible to return, but he still wanted to ask. As soon as the Magister Tower ran into small problems, the old stager Newyoheim would not miss a chance to attack Zuba City.
"Master Saul, please relax. Father asked Dean Steger to protect Niya. She will be fine."
"Well, I feel much better now knowing that Steger is keeping an eye on her," Saul nodded with ease. Steger was a archmagi-to-be, proficient in Earth-series magic. He might not be able to beat Phillip in a fight, but he would be good enough to stop Phillip for a short period of time. As long as Phillip was busy fighting, his student would not kill anyone. It was difficult to find someone like Phillip in the Pan Continent. He was extremely powerful, yet reckless. Phillip’s students had families. They prefered to stay away from trouble.
"Master Saul, let’s discuss the evacuation. We are the only ones who know about it. We have to be extremely careful. Father told me there are spies from the Ellisen Empire."
"I will handle it," Saul said. This was a massive evacuation. There were priceless magic properties in each Magister Tower that were crucial in supporting the border defense. They had to uninstall and ship them before the evacuation. There were also a million tedious things to worry about. All had to be properly planned. They certainly did not want to leave behind any good material to their enemy.