Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
"Suzanna!" a voice called from the other side of the street.
The group stopped in its tracks, and everyone turned to look for the source of the voice. A young man in his twenties with a longsword on his hip hurried across the street. It was evident from his badge that he was a junior swordsman. "Suzanna, oh god, it’s really you!" he said, rubbing his hands together excitedly.
"Vonmerg? What are you doing here?" Suzanna looked surprised, but happy.
"You were the best among all of us, but then you just disappeared. We couldn’t stay there anymore, so we came here," the young man said, extending his arms. "It’s so good to see you again!"
Suzanna took a step back and avoided his embrace. "You haven’t changed at all," she said.
Vonmerg laughed awkwardly and turned his gaze to Anfey, "And this is…?"
"This is Anfey, our leader, and Christian, our deputy," Suzanna introduced.
"Greetings," Anfey and Christian nodded.
"Greetings," Vonmerg said, slightly shocked. "Suzanna, you joined the patrol? That doesn’t sound something you would do."
"We’re definitely not the patrol," Suzanna smiled and explained.
"It’s so good seeing you again," Vonmerg said, nodding. "Our Angel Mercenary Band is finally together again."
Regardless of what the others thought of the word "angel," Suzanna found herself blushing. She was beautiful, and her personality more likable than girls like Niya. She had worked with the group for a while now, but no one had tried to flirt with her. After her first encounter with Anfey, she couldn’t really be an angel in front of him, anyway.
Plus, Suzanna’s exceptional skills shocked everyone in the group, and they all reckoned they were too weak to even try to flirt with her. Someone as daring as Vonmerg was an oddity.
"Ah, sorry, Vonmerg, we...we are starting a new mercenary group," Suzanna said hurriedly.
"Ah...I mean…" Vonmerg froze.
"I mean, you can join us…" Suzanna didn’t want to see her old friend upset, but she remembered Anfey was in charge of the group, not she. She shouldn’t invite people without consulting him first. She turned and looked at him. Anfey thought about her offer to Vonmerg for a moment, and nodded.
"Vonmerg, why don’t you join us?" Suzanna asked again, this time more confident.
"Alright!" Vonmerg smiled at this unexpected offer. He turned to Anfey and said, "The name’s Vonmerg, junior swordsman. Glad to be working with you, sir."
"No need to be polite," Anfey said, extending his hand. "We are all friends here."
Vonmerg noticed Anfey’s power, and had appeared surprised, but he quickly shook his hand.
Anfey had expected Vonmerg to start a fight or look for trouble. If he really was a shallow person, Anfey would not have hesitated to ask him to leave. Now, though, he was satisfied by Vonmerg’s actions.
"Oh, by the way, Suzanna, Hagan is here too. I’ll take you there."
"Hagan? You guys are together?"
"Of course. He was the one keeping me alive."
"Where is he?"
"In the inn, over there. Come on, I’ll take you." Before anyone else could say anything, Vonmerg was already running towards the inn.
The group followed Vonmerg to the inn. Seeing so many people walking in at the same time, but inn owner happil
y walked over to greet them. He saw Anfey first, then he saw Christian and Niya, and for a split second he was shocked.
It was only a few seconds, but enough for Anfey to realize something was off. He sighed. He wanted to come to Blackwater because he wanted everyone to practice their craft in more complicated situations, so they could return to Maho Empire to look for Saul. He didn’t expect to be recognized their first day here. Was it because of Phillip’s extensive powers? Or was it just coincidence?
"Hey, I’m going to take the entire third floor," Vonmerg called.
"Of course, of course," the inn owner said. "Please give me a moment and I’ll take you to your rooms."
"Looks like you’re living well nowadays," Suzanna said, smiling.
"It’s better. You know, Suzanna, Hagan is only an elementary alchemist, but there are only so many in the city. We can more or less make a decent living."
"What do you do, then?"
"Me? Trying to find business, of course. Hagan would never find work on his own without me."
Suzanna smiled and shook her head, and wasn’t sure if she should comment on Vonmerg’s ability or his natural way with money.
"Are you ready for your rooms?" the inn owner asked. He walked from behind the counter with a string of keys.
"Alright," Anfey nodded.
The inn was not busy. As they ascended the stairs, they did not see another patron. Vonmerg marched up to one of the doors and knocked on it. "Hagan!" he called. "Open the door! You’ll never guess who I found!"
"Vonmerg, how many times do I have to tell you? Don’t disturb me when I’m in the middle of an experiment!"
"Open the door, you idiot. You’re gonna regret it if you don’t," Vonmerg called, raising his voice.
The door was slammed open and a young man appeared. He was thin and tall, and appeared very scholarly. He looked angry, but when he saw Suzanna he had the same expression as Vonmerg only a few minutes before. "Suzanna?" he asked.
"Hagan," Suzanna smiled and said, "it’s been a while."
"Come in, come in," Hagan invited. "How did you know we are here?"
"I didn’t," Suzanna said. "We ran into each other on the street."
"It was a coincidence," Vonmerg said. "Here, Hagan. This is our leader, Anfey."
"Leader? Of what? Mercenaries?"
"Let’s go inside first," Anfey said. "Give us the key. You can go now."
The inn owner handed him the key and glanced at his face again before going downstairs.
Anfey looked at Blavi, who nodded and moved over to stand by the wall next to the stairway. They were the only ones occupying the rooms, and Anfey didn’t want any irrelevant people coming up there.
Then he gave the keys to Feller and placed him in charge of the living arrangements. The rest of the group all filed into Hagan’s room.
It was a small room, and with half a dozen people it became crowded. The furniture inside was simple as well. There was a desk and four chairs. In one of the corners was a bed, and there were some necessities scattered around the room. The only thing that was eye-catching were the bottles on the floor next to the bed. There were at least a dozen there, and each was filled with liquid of different colors.
"Suzanna, you’re a mercenary now?" Hagan asked. "What’s the name?"
"Haven’t decided yet," Suzanna said.
"I take it that you haven’t register either?"
"We just arrived and haven’t found the time yet."
Hagan looked at each person carefully, and when he saw Niya he froze and stared at her.
"What are you looking at?" Niya asked angrily.
Niya looked very plain. Anfey wanted to avoid unnecessary trouble, so made Niya and Suzanna were church clothes. He had told them to keep their hair messy and their faces makeup free. Because of that, Niya had felt ugly and extremely sensitive to other’s stares.
"That...that’s…" Hagan raised his hand and pointed a finger at Niya’s bag. The bag was small and occasionally moved. Clearly it contained some living creature.
"Niya, go," Anfey frowned. Why was an alchemist so sensitive to the presence of magic beasts?
Niya glared at Hagan and left the room.
"Wait!" Hagan called, jumping up.
Zubin and Sante both took a step forward and blocked his path, staring at him as a silent warning.