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Chapter 302: Forgiveness

 Chapter 302: Forgiveness

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

"How's it going?" Ernest appeared next to Anfey and asked. He saw Anfey's eyes were looking at something, and found Entos following Anfey's gaze. Entos had just reappeared and caught his magic wand. Ernest knew it was Entos who threw Anfey and was very unhappy with his actions.

"Anfey!" Suzanna exclaimed and crouched down next to him. She rested a hand on his shoulder and looked at him nervously.

"I'm fine," Anfey said with a grin.

"Why are you smiling?" Suzanna asked, frustrated with his attitude. She was worried, but she did not want to show it because she knew it would make Ernest feel even worse.

"I'm fine, really," Anfey said, pushing himself up.

"Wait," Ernest said. "Take your time." He reached out and supported Anfey with his hand. Even though Anfey attacked first and Ernest was forced to fight him, Ernest still felt bad for hurting him.

"I'm really fine," Anfey said. "I know myself. Don't worry," Anfey said and pushed himself off of the ground. Ernest hadn't actually directly attacked him. Anfey was only thrown back by his combat power. The only damage this would cause was some bruises. Anfey only acted injured to test Entos's reaction. He kept his act because he didn't want Entos to realize he was only acting.

"Be careful," Ernest said. He was still worried after seeing Anfey stand up. "Are you sure you're fine?"

"Really," Anfey said with a smile. "Relax. Today is a successful day, I think."

"Anfey!" Suzanna said, frowning. There was fleeting suspicion in her eyes. Anfey's actions today were strange. Normally, even when Anfey was losing, he could hold his ground. Today he was defeated after one blow. This was very unusual. She knew that she was nowhere near as powerful as Ernest, and Anfey might not be able to hold his ground against Ernest, but it was still very strange.

Anfey raised his arms and took a few steps forward. He suddenly stumbled as if he still needed support. He looked at Suzanna and leaned against her. "We need to talk," he whispered. Suzanna nodded.

"What is successful?" Ernest asked.

"Well, I came to understand the difference between a top level power and me," Anfey said. "Also, I found a path that suits me."

"A path that suits you?" Ernest asked, lifting a brow. He recalled the fight and frowned. It was the first time Anfey had used teleportation in combat, and he did not choose the right spot to reappear. He had to bend down to hit Ernest with his staff. If he become familiar with this fighting style, it would be very effective. What if he was using weapons he was familiar with? It would be very effective, indeed.

"It will work the first time, but not a second time," Anfey said, shaking his head.

Entos and Marino were walking over. After hearing Anfey and Ernest's conversation, they both frowned.

Entos looked down at his wand. His wand could use instantaneous teleportation and did not require spells. It was his last resort. The stronger he grew, the less he needed the wand. He hadn't used it in a few years now.

Entos realized he had made a mistake. He did not remember that strength and momentum were preserved even after he teleported. Usually, he wouldn't start attacking until after he had teleported. Anfey, however, attacked before he teleported. This saved a lot of time and could have changed the fight if he were really fighting for his life. If he had anticipated Anfey's method, he would have won.

"A second time?" Ernest asked, then nodded. He knew what Anfey meant. This method only had one chance, and it had to be lethal. If the first time did not work, the opponent would be prepared for a second time. He lifted his head suddenly to look at Marino.

Entos once said that the heads of the major mercenary groups were all difficult people. Marino proved Entos correct. He realized Ernest was staring at him and understood Ernest's mistrust towards him. He raised his hand and said, "You know I would not tell anyone what happened here."

Ernest nodded, then turned back to Anfey and said, "Take a few steps and see what happens." He was very worried before he noticed that Anfey's breathing pattern was still very steady. He relaxed visibly.

Anfey nodded. He let go of Suzanna's shoulder and took a few careful steps. His acting was good enough that no one became suspicious.

"What are you doing?" Saul's voice asked from up ahead. He was coming down the path with Niya. Saul looked at ease, but Niya seemed depressed. If it was another person, her change in mood would be unnoticeable. However, NIya was a very outgoing and happy person, and it was rare to see her in such a bad mood.

"I was just practicing, Master," Anfey said.

"I see," Saul said. "Good. Don't let yourself rust."

Niya suddenly frowned and glanced at Anfey. She blinked a few times and stopped. However, her actions were too conspicuous and everyone saw them. Anfey felt Entos and Marino were both staring at him strangely.

"Father, I don't want to go anymore," Niya said quietly.

"What?" Saul asked, surprised. "Why not?"

"I just don't. Go without me, alright?"

"Alright," Saul said with a sigh. "I know you had a restless night last night. Go take a nap and rest. Don't be so childish tonight."

Niya nodded.

"Ernest, come with me. And Anfey, if you're not too busy."

"What is it?"

"You'll now when you get there," Saul said with a shrug.

"Father!" Niya suddenly called.

"What is it?" Saul asked gently. He knew that Niya was in a bad mood, so he was extra patient with her.

"I have to...I have to talk to Anfey."

"What is it? Can't you talk about it here?" Saul asked, amused. Seeing Niya's frown deepen, he quickly changed the topic and said, "Anfey, go with Niya. I'll wait for you."

As Anfey walked away with Niya, he felt acutely the strange looks from Entos and Marino. He hoped that no one would think anything was going on between him and Niya and no rumors would stem from this. He followed her slowly and stumbled as they disappeared out of sight.

Niya stopped after she made sure they were out of earshot. She opened her mouth but hesitated as if she did not know how to say what she needed to say. She did not look at Anfey and was rubbing her shirt.

"Niya, what happened?" Anfey asked.

"Yesterday...was Christian angry?" Niya asked quietly.

"You have to ask him about that," Anfey said gently. He realized Niya was unhappy about missing Christian's party and he felt bad for her.

"I don't want to," Niya said, shaking her head. "I feel too bad. I felt like a thief coming down the stairs today. A thief in my own home! All because I'm too afraid to..." Niya's voice trailed off. She knew that Grandon shouldn't have hosted a feast at the same time as Christian, especially when Christian had sent out the invitation weeks ahead. Normal feasts could be rescheduled, but birthdays could not. Niya felt bad missing Christian's birthday.

"You're overthinking," Anfey said. "We know you made your decision for a reason. We all understand."

"You're lying," Niya said, shaking her head. "I know everyone must hate me right now." Her voice quivered as she spoke. Friendships were priceless, and after everything they had been through, they were practically family. Niya knew that her friendship with Christian was very important, and she was afraid of losing her friends.

"No way," Anfey said with a smile. "We would never stop being friends with you, Niya."

"You..." Niya was used to Anfey using sarcasm and did not believe him. Tears swelled up in her eyes.

"Seems like I can't speak for Christian," Anfey said with a sigh. "It sounds like you need to talk to him. Christian! Niya needs to talk to you!" His sudden increase in volume and the mention of Christian's name spooked Niya, and she jumped behind him and hid her face in his shirt.

"My god, Niya," a voice suddenly said. "Suzanna's going to kill you." Blavi laughed as he walked out from the trees.

Niya was startled and grew red with anger. Some jokes could be made among friends. Blavi was just acting the same way he always did, and Niya quickly remembered their friendship. She wiped away her tears and glared at him. "You idiot!" she called. Before she could say anything else, she suddenly froze, her eyes wide as Christian walked out of the trees.

"Niya," Christian said with a warm smile. "We're just about to go take a walk. Want to come along?"

A lot of times, words were not enough. Actions were the only way to solve the problem.

In reality, none of them blamed Niya. Saul treated them like their own children, and he was like a father to his students. Even Saul had to go to Grandon's feast. Niya surely had no choice. Christian never blamed Niya for missing his birthday. Even though he was sad that Grandon purposely hosted a feast on his birthday, Niya had nothing to do with it. Christian wouldn't be angry at her for something she could not control.

"I...I..." Niya said, stumbling over her words.

"What?" Blavi asked, smiling. "Do you want to go with Anfey? What would Suzanna think?" Niya grunted and reached for her sword. When she realized she didn't bring her sword, she looked around and searched for a branch. Finally, her eyes landed on a branch on a small oak.

Just as Niya was about to run towards the tree, Christian took a step forward and stopped her. "It's alright," he said, "just ignore him. You know how he is. Come on, you should go and wash your face. People may think we're taking advantage of you if they see you like this." He paused and said, "But you have to give me a present. Don't think you get to skip giving me a gift just because you missed my birthday."

"I already have it ready," Niya said, lowering her head.

"Where is it, then?" Christian asked.

"Wait," Niya said. She looked at Christian hesitantly then smiled. She turned and dashed towards a nearby building. It seemed like Niya had come out of her depression and her happy self had returned.