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Chapter 385: Real Cooperation

 Chapter 385: Real Cooperation

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

Where there is sunlight, there must be shadows. Sacred City, as the political and economic center, was one of the most prosperous cities in Maho Empire. However, usually it was hard for people to see shade in the dark corners.

There was a small no-name bar in the far end of the northwest part of Sacred City. Most customers here were have-nots living in the surrounding impoverished neighborhoods. The bar was neither too busy nor empty. Business was mediocre because slumdogs could not be too picky. Usually crooked businessmen mix water into the drinks, but the owner of this bar just added some alcohol to water. Drinks were cheap, but the bar owner still could make some money because the cost was so low.

Of course, any capable person with some status would not come here to drink. The owner of this bar was smart. He was good at targeting his customers. The most expensive drink only cost a silver coin. The flirty waitresses in the bar either had a lot of wrinkles on their faces or were not pretty. Their figures were nothing to look at. To be honest, in other areas, this kind of woman would not be able to get in to apply for a job in the bar. The owners of the bar would have asked them to leave. However, the waitresses seemed to be liked by customers here. They got good tips, and some of them even went to rooms upstairs with the customers after coming on to them.

This particular day, a special guest came to the bar. He was not large, but the clothes on him proved he was very different than those have-nots. He also wore shiny jewelry from head to toe. The three rings on his left hand were the most eye-catching. The middle one was a Dimensional ring. The people who grew up in poverty did not even know such a magical ring could exist. The owner of the bar definitely knew about it, so he was careful when he served him.

As it got darker, there were fewer guests. The owner of the bar looked a little nervous. He hesitated for a long time before he sent the waitresses home. He pushed the wooden door open and walked out of the bar. Soon after, three big guys walked into the bar one after another. They took a look at the old man first and walked to the few remaining customers one by one. After a short conversation, they slapped or kicked each one and asked them to leave. Very soon, the customers hurried out of the bar.

That old man continued gulping down cheap drinks and did not seem to know what had happened. The three large men looked at each other before slowly walking over to that old man. The owner of the bar walked in and carefully closed the door and locked it.

"Hey!" A big guy suddenly slammed the table

That old man still did not look up. The owner of the bar smiled. "This old guy almost drank half bucket of liquor. He probably does not even know who he is now."

"Hey, isn't it our master's ring?" A big guy suddenly stepped up and yelled. "Who do you think you are! Thief!" The big guy tried to grab the old man's left hand to take the three rings off.

The old man looked annoyed. He waved his hands and the big guy flew back fast. He looked like a little bird. Maybe this was his first time to feel the sensation of flying. He looked like he could not control the direction of his flight. In the blink of an eye, he smashed against the wall. The wall of the bar was made of wood. He flew right through it and was stuck halfway through the wall. His legs jerked and went limp. Nobody could see what happened to his upper body since it was on the other side of the wall.

The other two big guys looked terrified and immediately stepped back. The owner of the bar was shocked for a second before he yelled, "Help! Help! Someone is drunk. He is killing people."

Coincidentally, patrolmen were nearby. They were attracted to the bar owner's yelling. They knocked the wood door as they told the people inside that they were police officers. The bar owner rushed to the wood door as swift as a monkey. He tried to unlock the door he had just locked a few moments ago. He was so panicked that he did not seem to have control of his fingers. He was not able to unlock the door immediately, so the officer outside got impatient and broke down the door. The bar owner was knocked back to the floor.

"What's going on here?" the officer yelled. He looked from the hole in the wall to the two big guys. He seemed to think the two were the criminals.

"Ah..." The bar owner got up from the floor, moaning. He pointed to the old man, who was still drinking. "Sir, it is that old man. I asked him to pay for his bill, but he refused to pay and hit my customers. Oh, my god, poor Jimmy." The bar owner stumbled over and held his peer's limp legs hanging from the wall and wailed.

The officer turned to look at the old man. He checked the old guy's clothes first and slowly walked over. He said politely, "Master!"

"Don't disturb him." A gentle voice arose from outside.

The officer was shocked for a second before he turned to look out. The patrolmen immediately made way for him. That officer could not help looking shocked when he saw two armed soldiers walked in. They were all soldiers in charge of the security of Sacred City. An old man walked in after them. The officer's hair stood up on end when he saw the face of the old man. He bowed respectfully. "Master Saul."

Saul waved his hand and walked slowly to the drunk old man. He was quiet for a while, then took off his gown and hung it on the back of a chair. He took a seat across from the man and asked in a low voice, "Don't you want to buy me a drink?"

The bar owner had stopped crying after Saul walked in. His face had immediately turned pale when he figured out that the old man was the famous Saul. Now he saw Saul asking that no-name old man for a drink, which just made him faint. They had not known their target was a friend of Archmage Saul. They definitely were not able to take such a consequence.

"Master Saul, here...," the officer said timidly.

"Can you guys step out for a second? We do not want to be disturbed," Saul said.

"Yes, sir!" the officer said immediately. He gave his fellow officers a look. The unconscious bar owner and two trembling big guys had given him enough clues to know what actually happened.

A few officers rushed over and took the two big guys and the bar owner out. The bar became quiet, but the old man never moved his eyes away from his glass. He slowly looked up. "Did King Yolanthe decide to kill me?"

"Bruzuryano, I do not understand what you are saying," Saul said with a smile.

Bruzuryano heaved a long sigh and looked pained. "Manstuly has left. Haven't you heard?"

"Yes, I know. Manstuly is Manstuly, while you are you. Two different issues. How could Manstuly think King Yolanthe would not know what he did?" Saul said calmly, with a chuckle. "You are such an honest person and knew about what he did, how could the king not know about it?"

"Druids have been working very well for hundreds of years. I did not think we would have stupid ass Manstuly. I am sorry you had to see that." Bruzuryano paused and continued, "Saul, we have been friends for many years. I am not asking you to do anything that would put you in awkward situations. I only want you to tell me the truth if the king really thinks I am not related to Manstuly."

"Sure. You know me. We are friends, but if the king has made any decision, I would not sacrifice the empire because of our friendship," Saul said.

"I still could not believe." Bruzuryano smiled bitterly. "Saul, our following has grown to over 800,000 people in the past few years. Does the king really allow us to keep growing? Doesn't he worry the followers of God of Nature would post threats to his authority?"

Saul chuckled. "Bruzuryano, don't you worry about it. Is that why you are still in Sacred City?"

"No, you are wrong. I believe it is inevitable," Bruzuryano said slowly. "With Yolanthe's personality, he definitely will constrain our development, or even hinder development. I only sincerely hope to get the king's forgiveness and keep our losses to a minimum."

"You do not really know King Yolanthe," Saul said with a serious tone. "The king believes that people need beliefs in addition to the necessities of life. He believes that an appropriate amount of beliefs are beneficial for social stability. Of course, the power of religion can be terrible. The key is who has the control of it. The king would feel good if it is you."

"What happens after me?" Bruzuryano asked.

"That is too far in the future. I don't think there is any point in talking about it now," Saul said.

Bruzuryano sighed and leaned back in the chair. He looked relaxed now.

"My old friend, you are not hiding here, drinking cheap drinks because you are worried the king would do anything to you, are you?" Saul said.

"It would be a lie if I tell you I did not worry about it. In addition, what Manstuly did is really disappointing." Bruzuryano sighed. "Saul, do you know why Manstuly wanted to kill Anfey?"

"Kind of." Saul nodded. "Is it because of the Heart of Nature?"

"Yes," Bruzuryano said quietly. "The Heart of Nature used to be kept in the Central Temple. Manstuly wanted it and sent his people to attack the temple by surprise and tried to take the Heart of Nature. They were not able to do so because I coincidentally had just gone to the Central Temple and encountered them. I tried to take my people to see and confront Manstuly. Mauso tried to mediate between us. He forced Manstuly to apologize. After considering everything, I forgave him in the end."

"Unbelievable. How come I didn't know about it at all?" Saul said in surprise.

"It was shameful for druids, so we kept it a secret. No one talked about it to others. It made sense that you did not know about it," Bruzuryano said slowly. "To be honest, it was my fault. I did not dare keep the Heart of Nature in the Central Temple anymore. I take it with me no matter where I went. I met Slanbrea in the Country of Mercenaries. He told me he was tracing Morgan and asked my help. Saul, you know what kind of necromancer Morgan is. I was ready to sacrifice my life for the fight against Morgan."

"Did you really find Morgan? What happened?" Saul asked.

"Later? We did not find Morgan. Instead, we found his student, Annunciata. You know the rest of it." Bruzuryano smiled. "I have many friends, but only a few I really trust. You are one of them. Because of the threats from Morgan, I felt I should give the Heart of Nature to someone I trusted so necromancers would not be able to get it. When I met Anfey, I gave him the Heart of Nature, hoping he would give it to you later. You are the most appropriate one to keep it among my friends.

"But you did not expect Anfey would bond with the Heart of Nature, right?" Saul smiled.

"No, I did not expect that. It was unbelievable that Anfey bonded with it." Bruzuryano sighed. "Last time the Heart of Nature bonded with the supreme power, Dante, it was a thousand years ago."

"It must be fate. If you did not give the Heart of Nature to Anfey, it would not have happened," Saul said.

"You are right. That way, Anfey might be able to have a more peaceful life. Manstuly would not go after him either," Bruzuryano said.

"Anfey does not like a peaceful life anyway. I know him." Saul smiled.

"You not only know him, but also think he is good. So does King Yolanthe," Bruzuryano said.

"Don't you think the same?" Saul said calmly. "Dante was just a wandering beggar. After bonding with the Heart of Nature, he became a supreme power in ten years. If Anfey is given some time, he could be better than all of us. He had a supreme power as a teacher when he was a kid. What does it mean for him to be related to two supreme powers? Everybody thinks he is good."

"Good?" Bruzuryano smiled. "King Yolanthe probably thinks even more highly of him."

"What do you mean?" Saul asked.

"Granden has volunteered a few times to be the overseer of the Shield of Light legion, but King Yolanthe did not agree. Instead, he asked Christian to be the overseer. I think Anfey played a role in his decision," Bruzuryano said.

"That is the personal issue of the king. Let's switch topics," Saul said quietly.

"Saul, you have not taken sides yet?" Bruzuryano said with a chuckle.

"Me?" Saul raised his eyebrow.

"Without others' help, Manstuly will not be able to stop Suzanna in time. Saul, are you disappointed at your future son-in-law," Bruzuryano said slowly.

"Bruzuryano, Bruzuryano, I have been treating you nicely, as my brother," Saul said with a bitter smile.

"You are right," Bruzuryano said jokingly, but there was hatred in his eyes. "If I was not so nice, I would have destroyed Manstuly when he had just become the Wolf King. If I had done that, we would not have trouble now."

"It is not too late. The key is that you are determined to destroy him," Saul said quietly.

"Manstuly kept me out of it, so he has been playing a game with me. Whether he survives or not, he could use Yolanthe to destroy the power of my temple. Do you think I would let him go this time?" Bruzuryano said slowly.

"It's better you think this way," Saul said. "I have been wondering why you would stick with Manstuly. Mauso and you could definitely have killed him. Anfey has bonded with the Heart of Nature and became a messenger of God for druids. It is so crazy that Manstuly wants to kill Anfey. Even Mauso is enraged about it. He pretended that he agreed to help, but passed his plan to us right away. We are lucky that he helped us, otherwise we would be short staffed."

"Manstuly has a good wife," Bruzuryano said bitterly. "Do not underestimate elves. Manstuly's wife is an elf pharaoh and has powers among elves. With her help, Manstuly could be successful."

"I did not get a chance to ask you whose idea was it to give Anfey a few elf maids. I know it would not have been your idea," Saul said.

" was to help Anfey master the Nature magic faster," Bruzuryano said.

"Really?" Saul asked.

"Of course," Bruzuryano said.

Saul nodded and smiled. He did not continue on that topic.

"Saul, don't you want to remind your future son in-law and just watch him to make mistakes?" Bruzuryano knew Saul must have noticed something and tried to switch the topic to avoid issues Saul did not want to talk about.

"I was not the one who did not want to remind him. The king wants to see the true colors of each one of them," Saul said calmly. "I think I can understand him. Philip has claimed his loyalty to Wester, so Granden felt the pressure and rushed into believing in Manstuly."

"To see the true colors of them? What could he see when they are pushed to the corners?" Bruzuryano sneered. He saw Saul looking annoyed and knew Saul did not like anyone to talk about Yolanthe with a sarcastic tone. He heaved a sigh and switched the topic. "I feel blessed to have the king's forgivingness. I think we should talk about how we might work together."

"Next step for cooperation?" Saul asked.

"Queen of the Elves is in charge of Spring of Life," Bruzuryano said.

Saul was shocked for a second and said, "Don't tell me Queen of Elves is on your side?"

"She is," Bruzuryano said, smiling. "Queen of Elves did not like Manstuly so she will support me."

"I think Queen of Elves disliked Manstuly's wife even more," Saul said.

"You are right again." Bruzuryano nodded and felt helpless with the situation.