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Chapter 419: Courtesy

 Chapter 419: Courtesy

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

"Because of the situation we are in now, it is not the time to retreat immediately," Anfey said with a slight shake of his head. Obviously, Marino was only interested in being a wealthy man, but he had to do what was needed since the situation had changed. From Anfey's point of view, he definitely would need Marino's help in the future. Even if Marino did not want to be involved, he had to wait until the situation got better or until Christian was in a much stronger position.

"Do you know why I am talking about these things even though we just met? I am really worried." Marino had a bitter smile on his face. "Since the War against the Dead broke out, more than 12,000 mercenaries have come to Stormenburg. Including their families, the population of Stormenburg has grown by more than 50,000. It is a huge burden for me. With over 10,000 mercenaries coming to me, plus the mercenaries in Band of Brother mercenary group, I have enough people for a decent-sized military. I do not know if Glory mercenary group took the opportunity to expand. If they are the same size, I have the confidence to start a fight against them and destroy them."

Anfey was shocked. "You have that many mercenaries?" This was the difference between Marino and Alice. Alice had claimed that she welcomed all the mercenaries to Moramatch. However, only a small number of mercenaries had come. Some mercenaries who came to Moramatch were friends with Ozzic. The number of mercenaries who went to Moramatch were just a trifle compared with the large number of mercenaries who went to Stormenburg. Of course, these movements were affected by the strategies necromancers used. The population of death spirits around Cross Valley was the largest. Stormenburg was a lot safer. The people who were able to cross the Cross Valley and reach Moramatch were almost all soldiers. If they had families with them, they usually did not want to take the risk and preferred the safer route.

Marino nodded. "It was hard to explain to others why there are more than tens of thousands of mercenaries. Some people might think I want to do something with so many mercenaries in Stormenburg. In fact, I have the ability to take some action if I want to. I do not want others to have that misconception about me. You know how many people would believe the gossip."

"Do you want to give those mercenaries to me?" Anfey smiled. "Do you think I am not concerned about the same issue?"

"You are different than me. No matter what you do, others will think you are working for Christian and doing something for your future," Marino said.

Entos walked into the room and frowned. "Marino, why are you talking about this with Anfey? We should not worry about this kind of thing."

"Entos, I cannot believe you cannot see it more clearly, since you are involved. Have you asked Christian's opinion? Do you know what Christian is really thinking?" Marino asked calmly.

Entos went quiet for a while before he slowly took a seat. The issue between Granden and Christian gave him a headache. Christian was like his little brother, while Granden showed a lot of respect and had a good relationship with him. Entos even helped Granden make Niya like him. If Entos took Granden's or Christian's side, it seemed not to be fair to the other one. Entos pretended he did not know when Niya ran away. Saul did not interfere either. It showed the attitudes of Entos and Saul toward the younger generation's problems. They felt helpless and wanted to leave room to let the younger ones deal with it by themselves. They tried not to interfere.

If Granden and Christian were not in conflict, then all the problems could be solved easily. The problem was Granden and Christian shared a lot good qualities in common. They were both smart, kind, understood regular people's struggles, dedicated to the country, had good relationships in their circles, and had good self-control. It made it really hard for Entos to take sides.

So many royal kids committed crimes, bullied others and raped women. The grandson of Philip was an example. As princes, Granden and Christian had the highest immunity from being punished, but they had never done anything like that. Instead, they hated these kinds of things. The only difference between them was that Granden was more direct. In war, Granden supervised the troops. He had always volunteered to be the vice sheriff and had punished many royal kids who committed crimes. He neither showed any prejudice toward anyone, nor was afraid of offending anyone for the right reasons. The oldest prince, Wester, was in charge of city administration for the time being. Many government officials and royalty in Sacred City had showed their favoritism towards Wester. There was a saying that three inches-thick ice could not freeze overnight. Many people must have had conflicts with Granden for a long time.

Christian held an aloof attitude towards government affairs, since he did not mean to take any position in Sacred City. He needed some experience managing the city and leading troops. If Christian were given opportunities, no one would say he was worse than Granden. Everyone knew the real reason Yolanthe asked Christian to supervise the troops this time.

In relationships with girls, Granden only hung out with Niya. There was never any gossip about him with other girls. Christian had dedicated himself to magic study. They were definitely unique among royal kids, in a good way. Saul and others thought Granden and Christian should appreciate each other more. Brothers could break a gold brick if they tried it together. If one of them became Yolanthe's successor while the other one became a prince, they could work together to reform the country and give Maho Empire new life. That would be undoubtedly the best result, but reality wasn't working out that way. Granden held a party on Christian's birthday, while Christian only said goodbye to the oldest prince Wester and ignored Granden. All these had showed the conflict between them.

Marino laid his eyes on Anfey. "And I need to think for my mercenaries. There are two kinds of people. One type is ambitious, while the other is content, like me. I would like to refer a few people to you. They are the former kind. It would not benefit them too much if they follow me. No matter how hard they work, they would be my officials. The problem is, they could not replace me. I have thought about it for them through. Instead of having them stay with me and endure a boring and lonely life, I would rather have them follow you and do something amazing. If they could accomplish something, they would definitely appreciate me recommending them to you."

What Marino said inspired Anfey. He needed to push Christian into the public more. Christian should not give others the impression that he was just a puppet of Anfey. It would not do any good for Christian, and also would put himself in danger.

"But I hope you will treat them well. Their loyalty is beyond doubt. I can promise you that." Marino smiled. "I have been talking with them about you after I had this idea. I bragged about your wisdom and capability. I can tell they admire you."

"You bragged about me to what degree?" Anfey asked. He remembered that a few mercenaries had checked him out, but also looked timid.

"I did not exaggerate too much. You were a student of a supreme power and will be the only supreme power in the future," Marino said. "I talked a lot about you. For example, you drove out rascals and protected people, scolded Master Swordsman Philip, went into your enemies' territories to fight and wiped the whole Griffin Aerial Unit, fought with necromancers and killed Annunciata and over a dozen other necromancers, founded League of Mercenaries in Moramatch, and killed hundreds of thousands of death spirits."

"Are you sure you just bragged about me a little bit?" Anfey said.

"Just a little bit. To a bard, this is a necessary and artistic exaggeration. In fact, those heroic biographies had exaggeration in them as well." Marino smiled. "I have been wanting to be a bard since I was little."

"Did you just say you have over 12,000 mercenaries? How many mages are there?" Anfey asked.

"Yes, but I am not sure of the number of mages. You'll have to find out yourself." Marino suddenly grinned. "Don't get too excited about the number. You know I have passed my burden to you. First of all, you should think about how you would feed them before the business route opens up again."

"I have plenty of food, but I need to send people to get it for me," Anfey said.

"You have food? Where is it?" Marino was shocked. Stormenburg was his city and had all kinds of supplies, but the city supplies were almost emptied by having an extra 50,000 people. He planned to have Entos to take over 10,000 mercenaries to meet Anfey. This way, he helped Anfey and made a huge contribution to the future success of Christian at the same time. He also could pass the burden to Anfey with a good reason. It was like killing two birds with one stone. He definitely wanted to use Anfey when he heard there were food.

"Scarlet has lead her troops into the Country of Mercenaries to start the battle. She had to feed more than a few hundred thousand people. It should be no problem to feed another 50,000 people," Anfey said.

Marino was shocked. "You are not thinking of robbing Scarlet's supplies, are you?"

"No, I am not just thinking about it. You know I have robbed her once. It should be fine to rob her a few more times," Anfey said.

"Scarlet lost so much last time. She must have prepared a lot better this time. If you want to rob her again, it will be very, very hard!" Marino said.

"I am not going to rob her in the Country of Mercenaries. Here is the border between the Country of Mercenaries and Shansa Empire." Anfey rubbed his finger across a deep cut in the table. "I have a captive from Shansa Empire. He said Scarlet was stopped by border patrols when she was ready to go out for battle. She took over the patrol by force to show her determination. The nobility in Shansa Empire was against Scarlet going out to fight at first, but they changed their minds when they knew they could not stop her."

"What does this have to do with food?" Marino asked.

"In war, those border patrols were very brave and fought her hard, so she ordered her men to destroy the two mage towers at the border. After the battle, she forced all the mages at the border to go with her. Without the protection of mages and mage towers, Suzanna and I can go in and out freely. We could go in at any time to open the gate." Anfey pointed on the table. "She stocked most her supplies here, on the other side of the border."

Marino suddenly realized something. "Did you already plan to attack there even before you came here?"

"I planned to take a break in Stormenburg. Since Scarlet is here, I cannot do anything to her. That would be too rude," Anfey said.