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Chapter 297: Crisis

 Chapter 297: Crisis

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

After he left the academy, Anfey immediately headed towards a jewelry store. It was Christian's birthday, and Anfey had ordered a ring from that store. Even though the decoration on the ring was a small ruby, Anfey had designed the ring himself. He made the ring very simple yet elegant, and the design was something not commonly seen in jewelry shops in Sacred City. The owner of the shop hinted that Anfey could submit more designs, because he knew that if he could get the young man to give him more designs, his shop would grow in popularity.

However, Anfey's mind was not on designing jewelry. He did not want to spend too much time at the shop, and left in a hurry.

As soon as he walked into the dining room, he realized something must have gone wrong. The servants were hurrying about, preparing for the feast. There were a few people sitting in the dining room, but they were all chatting quietly and no one looked like they were about to host a birthday feast.

"Where's Christian?" Anfey asked.

"Upstairs," Blavi said.

"Where's Niya?" Anfey asked again. Niya loved large gatherings and feasts and would always be involved in the preparation. It was strange to not see her there.

Blavi sighed and turned his head away, as if he did not want to talk about her.

"What happened?" Anfey asked, frowning. "Tell me immediately."

Riska sighed and said, "She's not here. She's with Prince Grandon." Riska paused then continued, "I heard he's having a feast too. Invited a lot of people."

"What about Master Saul?"

"He's with Niya."

"I can't believe this," Blavi said spitefully. It seemed like he had been holding back and could no longer contain his anger. "It's Christian's birthday today! Why would he go to someone else's feast?"

"Blavi!" Riska scolded. He glanced at the busy servants and lowered his voice, "Master has full right to do what he did. If you didn't know, Grandon proposed to Niya. Again. She is Master's only child and has no interest in magic. We all know that if they marry, Grandon would inherit Master's belongings one day. Don't say anything like that again."

"So that justifies leaving Christian alone on his birthday?" Blavi asked angrily and slapped a table. "Frankly, I can say whatever I want and you can't tell me not to. I know, you are all smart. Grandon is the most likely heir, so you want to be in his good graces, huh? Too bad you are nothing to him, or else you would be at that feast too!"

"You!" Riska widened his eyes in shock at Blavi's words. He told Blavi to watch what he said, because he was afraid that Blavi would get himself into trouble. He didn't expect Blavi to take it the wrong way.

"I'm dumb, I know, and I know you think I'm stupid," Blavi said coldly. He shook his head and turned to leave.

"Wait," Anfey said, taking a few steps forward and grabbing Blavi. "Wait."

Even though Anfey had been busy lately, he was still a leader and his friends' memories of their time following him were still fresh. Blavi sat back down reluctantly.

Anfey turned to the largest chair in the room. There were a dozen strings of flowers hanging on the chair, and Anfey knew Niya had prepared the flowers by herself. Niya even told him that morning that she had a surprise for Christian. Clearly, she never intended to miss his birthday feast. Which meant Grandon's feast was a last-minute thing.

Anfey had met Grandon once, but even he knew that deducing a man's personality from such a brief meeting was impossible. Plus, since Grandon was a prince, he had to be good at hiding his true emotions. Anfey coughed softly and said, "We should lighten up. What would Christian think if he saw us arguing? On his birthday, nonetheless?"

"He's right," Feller said quietly. "We should stop arguing. We didn't even argue when we were suffering out there. Why are we arguing now that we are supposed to be safe and happy?"

"I prefer this, actually," Zubin said softly. "I don't like big crowds."

"I agree," Sante said.

"This isn't helping," Blavi said angrily. "Why would Niya..."

"I understand why she chose to go to Grandon's feast," Anfey said. "I've talked to her before. I can tell that she loves him and is willing to marry him. What do you want her to do? Turn down her fianc's invitation? Embarrass him in front of his own court?"

"Anfey's right," Zubin said. "We have to understand her."

"I can't," Blavi snapped. After everything they had been through, their bonds were more important to Blavi than a simple fianc, even if that fianc was a prince and presumed heir.

"Blavi, if your fianc is asking you to go to a feast with her, you would probably do the same thing," Sante said. He could sense how tense the atmosphere was and tried very hard to lighten the mood.

"No way," Blavi said, shaking his head. "You're my brothers. I would never leave you alone for a woman."

Sound from the stairs startled him. He turned and saw Suzanna walking down the stairs, grinning at him.

"Anfey, if Suzanna asks you go somewhere else tonight, will you stay?" Zubin suddenly asked, smirking.

Anfey rolled his eyes. He hated questions like this, since he considered those useless questions.

"No way," Suzanna said, smiling. "I would not miss Christian's feast for the world."

"Suzanna, if Anfey..." Zubin did not finish his question. He yelped as a peanut hit his forehead. He had seen Anfey holding the peanut, but he didn't know he would actually toss it at him.

"You had it coming," Blavi said. He was laughing, but that didn't mean he had forgotten about what he considered a betrayal. It was because this made him feel like the old times, when they didn't have to worry about who would be the heir to the throne.

Christian walked down the stairs slowly. He smiled when he saw Anfey and said, "You're back."

"Why aren't you dressed?" Anfey asked, looking at Christian. He had not changed his clothes and looked normal.

"Why?" Christian asked, frowning. "I don't care much about my appearance. I'm not a girl, you know."

"But you're good looking enough that you would look like one if you dress up," Anfey said, nodding. Christian was handsome enough to make most men jealous, but he was a very gentle and quiet person. If he was to look for a wife, hundreds of girls would line up for him to choose. However, he was not interested in looking for a wife. The only thing he was interested in was becoming an archmage.

Everyone laughed. Ever since Christian's real identity had been revealed, his relationship with the other students had become tense. Christian was grateful that he still knew someone he could joke with.

"Oh, to hell with you," Christian said, laughing.

"I'm serious," Anfey said. "Just try, won't you? Not going to lie, I think you're going to be prettier than Suzanna."

"I'm jealous!" Suzanna said and glared at Anfey. However, her grin betrayed her.

Everyone was laughing, but there was uncertainty in their laughter. Saul had sent out dozens of invitations to governmental officials, but with Saul gone, would those people actually show up? How should they explain to Christian that Saul was gone?

"Christian," Anfey said after he recovered from his laughter. "I have to tell you something. Master and Niya..."

"I know," Christian said with a smile. He walked over and sat down next to Blavi. "Both of my brothers are having feasts tonight. Master and Niya are at Grandon's."

"Wester is having a feast too?" Riska asked, shocked. Feasts were a common occurrence, and there was a single rule to it. After one feast date was established, others would set up feasts around that date to avoid conflicts. Unless the two hosts were enemies.

"Yes," Christian nodded. "They can have ten feasts for all I care." Everyone knew he cared deeply.

"Today's spotlight is on Christian," Anfey said, sitting down with Suzanna. "We have to listen to him; although there is one thing I have to talk to you all about." He turned to the servants and said, "Leave us. Close the door behind you."