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Chapter 102: Timing

 Chapter 102: Timing

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

When the caravan of the Shansa princess stopped, Anfey and Suzanna had already turned back. They observed the campsite carefully. There obviously were smart men in her service, because the campsite was laid out very methodically. The site was divided into four sections; patrols and mercenaries dotted the camp. There were mages floating above the camp as well. Bonfires had been lit throughout the camp. These protections turned the camp into a fortress.

Anfey watched for about two hours before deciding to return to Blackwater City. The only people that could make the impossible possible were gods. Anfey was an assassin, and his ability was limited. He wasn't one to take great risks, and his welcome ceremony for the princess must come to a stop now.

It was already dusk of the next day when they returned to Blackwater City. Vonmerge's ability was impressive. He had already gathered everything Anfey needed in two days. Although the man in black's ability was much stronger than Vonmerge, Anfey didn't want him to know his entire plan. It was his habit from when he was still an assassin, and it benefitted him. It was easier for him if no one knew exactly what he wanted, which would make it harder for people to interfere with his plans.

The four mercenary groups all had fairly good reputations. None of the leaders had a record of abusing his powers or deceiving any of his allies. Of course, even if a leader did do such a thing, it would be on record. Afterwards, he would try to clear his name as best he could.

However, everyone had their families and friends. The mercenary leaders could keep their own names clean, but they could not restrict their friends and families. Old Phillip had never oppressed the people or abused his power, but his grandson Zeda was infamously spoiled. Old Phillip had done wrong, but was good at hiding it. Zeda, on the other hand, wore his wrongdoings like badges. People who had done great wrongs might be looked up to, but people who had committed petty crimes were usually looked down upon.

The man on top of Anfey's list was Davidson, who ranked third in Glory mercenary group. According to reports, he had a short temper, and that made him an easy target. Anthony, the man who ranked first in the group, was not in Blackwater City. It was something that could be used to Anfey's advantage as well.

Davidson had a younger brother called Orwell. Davidson and his brother were orphaned at a young age, leaving the brothers alone in the world. With no other means of income, Davidson had resorted to thieving. He was caught one time and was beaten. Orwell nursed him back to health all by himself. Davidson's mentor found them and felt sympathetic. He took Davidson with him, and returned later for his younger brother. However, they did not find Orwell. After a few years, Davidson returned to look for Orwell. By then, the two had taken completely different paths. Davidson was already a junior swordsman, and Orwell had became a thug. After Davidson befriended Anthony and joined Glory mercenary group, he had bought Orwell to Blackwater City as well.

However, old habits die hard. Orwell was used to doing things his way, and was still a typical thug in Blackwater City. His brother was friends with Anthony, and everyone tried to move out of his way. Orwell knew his limits as well. He would not mess with people he knew he could not take on. Because he knew who to mess with and who he had to leave alone, he was able to live in relative comfort.

Vonmerge found out about these things through a friend of Davidson's, and felt they should be accurate.

Anfey circled Orwell's name and told Vonmerge to keep tabs on Orwell. He then closed his door and began meditating. If everything went according to plan, Blackwater City would be in chaos once he was done. He must improve his skills before then.

Two days passed in the blink of an eye. Anfey opened the window to the city's clamor. He looked out and saw a long line of carriages and carts in the streets. He knew that the princess was in the city.

All along the streets, people of the city were out holding flowers. They were cheering loudly. Tiger of Tawau was a powerful mercenary group, but getting such a big display was impressive. Anfey watched for a while longer before closing the window and leaving the room.

The hallway was empty. Clark had already removed all the other patrons, and the new patrons in the first and second floors were all working with Anfey. Their safety could be assured and there was no longer the need for nightly patrols.

He knocked on Suzanna's door, then poked his head inside and found it empty. Blavi pushed open Christian's door and called Anfey over.

"We're all in here," he said.

Christian frowned when Anfey walked inside. "Anfey, can't you tell us the next time you are going to meditate? We didn't want to bother you, but we needed you here to make the plan."

"Sorry about that," Anfey apologized. "Why? Did something happen?" He knew what the problem was. He was only confident in himself, and the only person that needed to know the exact details of the plan. He was the leader of a team, though, and it may create a rift in his relationship with the team members if he kept things from them.

"Didn't you tell Vonmerge to keep on eye on Orwell? We were there too, yesterday. He bought a little elf girl at the market yesterday. She looked like she's only eleven or twelve."

"Elves live longer than us," Zubin said. "She was probably already fifty."

"I'm saying the way she looked," Christian said.

"Zubin, don't interrupt him," Anfey said.

"We saw Orwell taking the little girl to his place, and then we heard screams. Suzanna and Sante wanted to go in, but I didn't let them." Christian smiled bitterly. "Vonmerge saw a few carts from Glory mercenary group coming out of his house the next day, and they buried something outside the city. It was the little girl."

"That's it?"

"They blame me for her death. They tell me you wanted to kill Orwell, and killing him then wouldn't change much about the plan. I thought I did nothing wrong. We wanted to hear your take on this."

"Anything else?"

"Suzanna talked about the princess. Anfey, I don't think it's a good idea to assassinate her. She has four senior swordsmen, plus the people serving Tiger of Tawau mercenary group. There is no way we can take them all by ourselves." Christian sighed and shook his head. "Best case scenario, some of us would still die. Clark said that the marriage was political, and even if we kill one princess they can always send another one."

"Nothing else?"

"That's it."

"First thing. I think you're right, Christian. I didn't tell you guys why we wanted to kill Orwell or the impact of it, and that is my fault. But if you had really killed him, that would have ruined my plan."

"Anfey, didn't you tell me to kill him?" Vonmerge asked.

"I said to kill him when the timing is right," Anfey explained. "Christian did the right thing. Now, the next thing. You guys are getting good. At least you know how to analyze your enemies."

"You want to cancel the plan, too?"

"No. I think we have a high chance of succeeding. My plan is this," Anfey said. He then proceeded to explain to the group his plan in its entirety. "What do we think?" he ask, looking around the room.

Everyone was looking at each other. Those who were still relatively naive were shocked by how heartless Anfey's plans were. If they really go through with the plan, surely it would be a bloodbath. There would be so many dead who would not even know who killed them.