Assassin's Chronicle - lightnovelgate.com
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The carriage was going at a controlled speed. If it was too slow, it would seem suspicious. If it was going too fast, the necromancers may not react fast enough. Bruzuryano could only decide how fast the carriage should go based on his feelings.
Except for math, most things in the world lacked a proper formula. A general could predict his enemy’s moves using thousands of pieces of information available to him. A merchant could find opportunity in an extremely competitive market. There was no formula to success. The only thing a man could do was to trust his instincts. No one knew exactly how they succeeded.
The carriage reached Buenos City by noon. Black Eleven and Apa appeared outside of the city and stopped the carriage. Their job was to stand guard and wait for Anfey, Suzanna, Christian, and Niya. When the four did not show up, they became worried. Buenos City did not have a transmission portal, and after the city gate was closed, the two were practically stranded in the city without any source of information. They did not have the authority to reopen the gate, and even if they did, they could not travel back during the night. In the morning, Black Eleven and Apa received the news of the four being involved in a conflict in Punk City, but did not know the details. They had been very worried about the safety of their four companions.
Even though they were no longer worried, the two were still frustrated. Christian, Niya, and Anfey were all very important, and if they were hurt, Black Eleven and Apa would be responsible. Whenever something went wrong, everyone wanted to contribute to overcoming it. Black Eleven and Apa felt left out and were frustrated.
The two greeted Bruzuryano first, then turned to Christian. "Are you hurt?" Black Eleven said. He knew that no one was seriously hurt, but he wanted to show that he did care about their wellbeing.
"Don’t worry about me," Christian smiled. He glanced at Anfey and lifted an eyebrow. "I told you that would make them angry," he said.
"I think we should change our carriage," Bruzuryano said with a smile. He did not know how popular he was. Compared to Slanbrea, he was clearly winning.
What had happened earlier was already fading from Bruzuryano’s mind. Since he was purposely trying to forget about it, it was not hard. He had seen too many deaths in his life, and knew that sadness could not bring the deceased back. He knew that it was better to prepare to avenge the dead than to keep thinking about the deaths.
"We’ve already prepared everything, my lord," Apa said quietly. He waved his hand, and two men in blue appeared with a carriage behind them. They handed the reins of the horses to Apa and disappeared into the crowd.
"You’re efficient," Anfey praised.
This praise was intended to lighten the mood and work as an apology, but Black Eleven ignored it. Instead, he turned to Bruzuryano and said, "Please, my lord. After you."
Bruzuryano glanced at Anfey but did not wait for him. It was Anfey’s fault for changing the plan and inconveniencing others, including Bruzuryano and Slanbrea. What made Bruzuryano even more unhappy was Anfey’s clash with the believers of Goddess of Nature. Even though the keeper of the temple was a just woman, and she had explained the situation, Bruzuryano still felt uncomfortable.
Of course, Bruzuryano still did not want Christian, Niya, or Anfey to get hurt or die during the conflict. If if was them instead of those followers of Goddess of Nature, Saul, Ernest, and even Yolanthe would react badly. It could be disastrous to his religion.
The temple keeper also told Bruzuryano about Anfey using the Heart of Nature. Because of this, Bruzuryano decided that he could not talk to Anfey about it. Keeping everything in made Bruzuryano uneasy, however, and so he was happy to see the others getting angry at Anfey as well.
The conversation and changing of the carriage took only a few minutes. Soon, the carriage began moving again. Black Eleven thought that Anfey’s actions were inappropriate, but he still trusted him. His attitude towards Anfey softened significantly before the carriage even left the city. He found a package in his bag and handed it to Anfey. "It’s for you," he said curtly and gestured at Apa.
Anfey understood Black Eleven’s gesture and nodded. He leaned back against the wall of the carriage and hid the scroll from Apa’s sight.
The scroll contained information, though Anfey wasn’t sure which information would be useful to him. He skimmed through the scroll, and a small paragraph on the last page drew his attention. He recognized Black Eleven’s handwriting instantly.
Black Eleven did not write a lot. It was mostly about Marquis Djoser. A day after Shansa Empire withdrew its army, the marquis went to Sacred City with some of his guards and met with Yolanthe. He immediately returned to his own house after the meeting, and did not meet any other important nobles in the city. He appeared at a feast the eldest prince, Wester, hosted, and was seen speaking with the prince like an old friend. The two had a private meeting after the feast, and it was unclear what they had talked about. According to the marquis’s servants, the marquis was happy enough that when he returned home that day, he was humming a song.
Black Eleven underlined the servants’ words. It was not hard to imagine what made the marquis so happy. He had always wanted to be the city lord of Violet City, and the prince must have promised him that.
Anfey tapped the paper lightly and flipped back to the front. The last page had a different texture compared to the rest of the scroll. Clearly, Black Eleven added the last page by himself. This was not something Anfey should know, which was why Black Eleven did not want Apa to know.
Anfey frowned, then relaxed. He knew what to do. If he was in conflict with the emperor Yolanthe, Black Eleven would never take his side. If his opponent was the prince, he knew where Black Eleven’s allegiance lied.
As long as he did not create any major conflicts, he was certain that he had Black Eleven’s support. Anfey was not worried about this. No one wanted to follow the wrong leader. Anfey knew that Yolanthe was a wise king, and he would not change his mind, unless he ran out of options. Yolanthe was smart, and he was much better than Anfey at avoiding unnecessary conflicts.
"Did you finish?" Black Eleven asked under his breath. "Destroy it when you finish. This was delivered under the order of His Majesty." He paused and added, "He really trusts you, Anfey."
"Yes," Apa agreed. "Even the prime minister may not have access to that."
Anfey smiled and handed the scroll to Suzanna, who summoned her combat power and burned the scroll.
Anfey stretched himself on his seat, then closed his eyes. He did not realize how easy it would be to make himself an enemy of the prince. Even though Yolanthe had planned everything and he had nothing to do with it, Prince Wester would not blame his own father. Anfey was nothing more than a scapegoat.
The prince may not hate Anfey yet, but he must have disliked him. What would Prince Wester think when the news from Violet City reached him?
"Anfey, what’s wrong?" Suzanna asked quietly. She was alarmed by Anfey’s frown. "Are you unwell?"
"Don’t worry," Anfey said. He looked at Suzanna and smiled at her. "I’m just tired. I think I’m going to take a nap. Don’t worry about me." Whenever he was under pressure, he often chose not to think about it too much. He liked napping or meditating to temporarily avoiding dealing with the problem. He found it easier to find a new perspective if he was calm.
Anfey relaxed himself and let his mind float. He filtered out the sounds of conversation around him, and could not hear anything. Everyone was already used to Anfey’s meditation and did not say anything, but Bruzuryano kept staring at Anfey.
After a while, Suzanna suddenly asked curiously, "Why did the carriage behind us stop?"
Bruzuryano peered through the curtains and glanced about. "Stop," he said quietly.
Anfey opened his eyes as the carriage came to a stop. He sat up and peered out the window.