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Chapter 286: Wishes

 Chapter 286: Wishes

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

"Shally!" Suzanna scolded. When picking a student, an archmage was always extremely careful. The decision was made without any distraction. One bad student would bring shame to the teacher and cause others to doubt the teacher's ability. Of course, archmages taking students as a favor was not unheard of, but neither Suzanna nor Anfey was important enough to make an archmage bend to their will.

"You want to learn magic? That should not be a problem," Saul said with a smile.

"Really?" Shally asked incredulously. She wasn't sure if she could trust such a quick answer. "Can I really study magic? With you? But I'm even worse than Anfey." Shally was still a child and she didn't realize Saul said only that she could learn magic, not that she could learn with him.

Saul's other students looked at the young girl, then they all burst into laughter. Anfey sighed and shook his head. It was no secret that he was the weakest out of all of Saul's students, but Shally didn't have to say it out loud.

"Trust me, he was even worse than you when he first came to me," Saul said, smiling.

"So I'm better than him?" Shally asked hopefully.

"Yes," Saul said, nodding. "You are better than him." He looked up and saw Suzanna's anxious expression. He looked at Shally, then smiled. "It seems like you will have a new sister from now on," Saul said, turning to Christian. At first, Saul did not want to take a new student, but he changed his mind.

"She already is, Master," Christian said with a grin on his face.

"They are all very good to me, my lord," Shally said happily.

"Shally," Anfey said quietly, "it's not my lord anymore. He is your teacher now."

"Really?" Shally asked, her eyes wide.

"If you still want to," Saul said gently.

"Shally, quick, say thank you," Suzanna said, nudging Shally forward. She did not expect Saul to agree to take Shally as a student, but she was very grateful.

"Thank you, Master Saul," Shally chirped happily. She turned and grabbed Suzanna's arm and said, "I can protect you now too, sister!"

Suzanna smiled, stroking Shally's hair. She did not say anything. Becoming the student of a powerful mage was only the first step in a long journey to become a senior mage. She had already spent so many years practicing. She knew the hardship on the road to become powerful.

Ernest walked into the room. He glanced around the room as the students stood to greet him.

Ernest nodded at them and turned to Suzanna. "Suzanna, where have you been lately?"

"Me?" Suzanna asked, confused. "I was with Anfey," she said after a few seconds.

"You're a swordsmaster. What are you doing at the magic academy?" Ernest asked, frowning. "Starting today, stay here and practice with me."

"Yes, sir," Suzanna said.

"You have it all figured out, don't you?" Saul asked, smiling.

"You could say that," Ernest said.

Ernest was not hard to understand. At first glance, he may have seemed arrogant and driven by his emotions, but that was the furthest possible thing from the truth. Ernest did not like speaking, and he always tried to say what he wanted using as few words as possible.

"Well, congratulations, then," Saul said.

"It's a little early for that."

"What will happen with her?"

"I don't know," Ernest said, frowning. "That's why I'm worried."

"Suzanna," Saul said, turning to Suzanna. "Listen to Ernest. You should stop going to the academy. I know you may worry about Anfey, but you see, trust is very important. Don't worry about that."

"That's not..." Suzanna explained quickly, blushing.

"Are you worried that he will get hurt? Don't worry about that, either. As long as he is in Sacred City, I can assure his safety," Saul said, standing up. "Anfey, come with me. I have to talk to you." Saul's eyes fell onto the unicorn next to Anfey. "So this is the unicorn I've been hearing about."

Ernest turned around as well. Unicorns were rare. Ernest had encountered a few in the past, but he knew that he wasn't strong enough to defeat one, so he had left the animals alone. Unicorns were too fast, and if a unicorn wanted to run, Ernest could never catch up to it. If a unicorn was willing to fight, the consequences would be too great. The Forest of Death was a dangerous place, and even if Ernest could defeat the unicorn, he would be injured and could be easily killed by other enemies.

The unicorn watched Saul nervously, its body shaking. Magic beasts were not as smart as humans, but could sense things humans could not. For the unicorn, Saul was not an amiable man, but a being with terrible powers.

Anfey patted the unicorn. "It seems like it's scared of you, Master," he said.

Saul wanted to further observe the unicorn, but he stopped and took a few steps back. "Another day, I suppose. I don't want to scare it." He looked around the room and his eyes fell on Hui Wei and Hagan. They were the only two strangers. "By the way, which one of you is Hagan?"

"Me, my lord," Hagan said, scrambling up.

"Ah, yes, Master," Riska hurried over and said. "Forgot to introduce you. This is Hagan, and this is Hui Wei. They're both people we encountered along the way."

"My lord," Hui Wei stood up and bowed.

"Sit, sit," Saul said, nodding. "Hagan, you are an alchemist, aren't you?" Hagan nodded. "Do you have any interest in the manuscripts of Jacob?"

"Jacob? You mean, the Great Alchemist Jacob?" Hagan said, jumping out of his seat. "His last manuscripts?"

"Last?" Saul frowned and asked. "As far as I know, no one knew what happened to him."

"But he hadn't appeared in twenty years, my lord."

"It seems like I have to give those manuscripts to you as soon as possible," Saul said. "He would be livid if he heard that, and would probably take those gifts back?"

"Gifts?" Hagan asked, blinking.

Saul smiled. "Anfey, come with me." Anfey nodded and followed Saul out of the room, leaving Hagan and his joy. The two of them went to another room. Saul sat down on a chair and sighed.

"Anfey, how much do you know about Suzanna?" Saul asked.

"She never told me much."

"Have you asked?"

"No. I am in love with her, but her past is her own," Anfey answered. He knew Saul's intention wasn't just to ask him about Suzanna, and he need to stand firm.

"Do you want to know about it?" Saul asked, picking up a stack of documents from the nearby table.

"Is it important?" Anfey asked.

Saul smiled and shook his head. "Do not blame His Majesty, Anfey. His Majesty is the king, after all, and he needs to be well-rounded."

Anfey frowned. The unicorn whined and nudged his hand.

"It's not what you think," Saul comforted him. "Suzanna and Shally are daughters of the ruler of Gruce Principality, Darius. Suzanna underwent brutal training from the time she was a child. Darius needed a loyal guard, and there was no better choice than his eldest daughter. Suzanna did not rebel against this."

"Like I've said, Master, Suzanna's past is her own," Anfey said with a shrug. "But why must we return Shally to Gruce?"

"We cannot fight two wars at once. If we really want to fight with Ellisen Empire, we have to gain the support of Gruce. Only then will we have a chance."

"I see," Anfey said. "But isn't the Church advocating for unity among the nations? Why are we considering war?"

"Not now, of course. If you ever become a ruler, you will learn to think three steps ahead. This war with Ellisen Empire will not happen for years, maybe even decades. Plus, Shally is still too young. I doubt she can take the responsibility of an entire kingdom at this age." Saul paused and sighed. "Maybe they will both be used to peace after a decade, and they would not want to be a part of this. But it doesn't matter what they want, because their wills are nothing compared to the movement of the world's current."

"It's hard for Suzanna to forget people she hates," Anfey admitted. "Maybe they are even more eager than His Majesty." Anfey could feel that Suzanna would return to Gruce Principality sooner or later, because no one could convince her to give up on her revenge. He was her lover, and he should support her.

"I hope you're telling the truth."

"I know her, Master. We've never talked about it, but I know it is the truth."