"Anfey, they said that they wanted to talk to you," Sante said.
The two sisters walked over and stopped a few feet away from the camp. The older one whispered something into Shally’s ears, and the Shally stopped. The older girl walked over to Anfey.
Anfey and Christian glanced at each other, and they both stood up to greet them. Christian was confused, but Anfey was nervous. His brain was working fast to understand why she was there
"Hello, why are you here?" Anfey asked.
"You see, we are all out of food. You must have some prepared. I want to buy some food from you," the older girl said, her expression cold. She was speaking with Anfey, but her eyes were focused on Christian, as if she did not want to look at him.
Anfey chuckled. He disliked women who were too full of themselves. They did not have enough food supplies even for themselves, and even if they did, he would not have given them to her. He had no use of money in this place, and he did not need it.
"I know you do not have a lot of supplies. I have twenty-three coins, and you can have it all. I don't need much…" The girl hesitated. "Even if it’s just a few sausages."
Anfey blinked, and his dislike for her dissipated. One single coin could buy them a dozen or more sausages in a city. Now she was willing to spend twenty coins for just a few. Clearly she knew the price of food in this place, and was not an unreasonable person.
Anfey thought about it and waved Feller over. Feller walked over and fished out a handful of coins and handed it to him.
Anfey took the coins and held them out. "We don’t need coins," he said, smiling, "we need food. I was hoping to buy some from you."
"Is that so? I apologize for disturbing you," the older girl said coldly. There was no change in her expression, as if she had known that she would be faced with rejection. She turned and began walking away.
Anfey was shocked again. He had it all thought out. He was going to reject her request at first. If she begged him or asked again more earnestly, he could act like he was moved and agree to help her. This way he could try to bridge the gap between the two of them. He hadn’t considered that the older girl would just leave.
Anfey shook his head. Judging from her earlier request, she was a reasonable person, or else he would not have come up with his original plan. On the other hand, the girl’s attitude was not what he would expect in someone pleading for help.
Anfey was a very logical person, but dealing with a girl’s changing mood needs experience and consideration. Anfey had never really loved a girl, so he could not figure out the girl’s change in emotions quickly and accurately.
Suzanna made her attitude cold and unapproachable because of Anfey. What happened the night before was too much of a blow to her pride. Then, she was hanging on the tree, and was humiliated to the point that she considered just ending her life. She could look for help for the sake of her sister, but she would never beg in front of Anfey. She was trying to protect her remaining dignity.
Seeing that Suzanna was leaving, Christian looked at Anfey and tried to get him to stop her.
Anfey pretended not to see Christian’s acts. There was no way he would try to stop her. Remembering what had happened the night before, he figured that if he tried to stop her, he would be met with force.
"Miss, please wait," Christian called out after the girl after realizing that Anfey was not about to stop her. "Can I please have your name?"
"Suzanna. Nice meeting you," the girl stopped and said. She had to stop. She saw Shally’s disappointed eyes and was very conflicted. Must she returned and beg for help?
"Hello, greetings, I’m Christian." Seeing that Suzanna’s attitude had softened, Christian felt a boost in confidence and smiled warmly. "We can maybe discuss what you just asked about."
"Really? Thank you so much," Suzanna said gladly. She smiled softly and said, "I do not ask for much. I only need two sausages."
Anfey stood nearby and was very beaten by this. This was the first time he had seen Suzanna smile. He felt defeated that Suzanna treated Christian differently. He wanted to be a good person, but she wasn’t giving him the chance. Was Christian really more likable than he?
"Of course, of course. There is just one thing I don't understand," Christian said. "Two sausages would only last for a day, wouldn’t it? What about tomorrow? The day after that? How would you survive in the forest?"
"That is my problem," Suzanna said honestly.
"I have an idea that may solve your problem. If you’re interested, why don’t we find a quiet place to discuss it?"
"Alright," Suzana said after a few moments of consideration.
Christian and Suzanna walked over to the forest and began discussing Christian’s idea. Sante and Feller tried to eavesdrop on them and come back and tell Anfey about what they had heard. In the end, Anfey had to give them each a sword sheath to keep them from spreading rumors.
After a long time, Christian and Suzanna returned with Shally walking behind them. Christian winked at Anfey victoriously, then coughed a few times. "This is Suzanna," he announced. "From today, she will be joining us. She will face any future danger together with us, and, of course, we will protect Shally from any danger."
"Ah, welcome, welcome," Sante called out.
Everyone else followed his lead. Suzanna glanced around the group and said shyly, "We will be friends from now on. I will do my best to help this team."
"Suzanna, why don’t you join Anfey’s team?" Christian said.
"Wait. Christian, I can follow your orders, but never his," Suzanna said, pointing at Anfey. She was the highest ranked, and the most powerful, but she didn’t try to take the role of the leader. She knew that the combined power of the mages was more powerful than hers. She had stated from the beginning that she will follow Christian’s orders.
Christian hesitated, then said, "Suzanna, you should know that a team cannot have two leaders. Everyone here must follow his orders. If you cannot do that, our deal is off the table."
Suzanna stared at him in silence. After a few moments, she narrowed her eyes and stared at Anfey. "Fine," she hissed.
"What do you mean by fine? Will you leave? Or will you follow my orders?" Anfey asked. He wasn’t worried. She had already decided to cooperate with them, and wouldn’t change her mind easily. He would not let anyone challenge his position as the leader of the group.
"Fine," she said, "I will follow your orders."
"Alright then," Anfey said, "I welcome you."
Suzanna turned her head. Following Anfey’s orders was a necessity for joining the team, but personally she hated him and did not want to talk to him.
Shally walked over and stared at him, her eyes filled with hope. Anfey waved Feller over, who gave Shally some sausage and bread. Shally practically grabbed the food from his hands and began eating it. It seemed like the sausages from a few days ago did not satisfy her hunger.
Shally’s actions made Suzanna look away in embarrassment. This showed that she did not do a good job as a sister.
Anfey sighed. He took a goblet from his ring. Moments later it was filled with water. He was only an apprentice, but even he could manage to gather magic. He handed the goblet to Shally.
"Thank you," Shally said timidly. She smiled at him sweetly, but because she was not familiar with him, she appeared shy.
A magical surge approached them. "When did you get here? Took me a while to find you," Riska said as he landed on the ground.
"Riska, let me introduce you. This is Suzanna. She is very powerful," Christian said.
Riska noticed the two girls and blinked in shock. He turned to looked at Anfey, who nodded. He turned and smiled at Suzanna. "Greetings," he said, "I’m Riska. Welcome to the team."
"Nice meeting you," Suzanna said, smiling. She was clearly very easy going. Everyone could make her smile, except for Anfey.
"Riska, did you find a good place to camp?" Anfey asked.
"No. I went into the swamps again. It was huge. I changed direction a few times but couldn’t find the edge, so I had to come back," Riska said.
"Are we leaving here?" Suzanna asked.
"Yes," Sante told her.
"Great. We have to leave in seven days," Suzanna said.
"Why?" Christian asked curiously.
"Do you know why you can’t find any magic beasts here?"