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Chapter 429: Draft

 Chapter 429: Draft

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

Anfey and Suzanna stood shoulder to shoulder on the roof of the building, watching the arena below. About 1,000 mercenaries were training. The trainer was Kumaraghosha.

Kumaraghosha looked a little out of focus and very gloomy. He seemed to have more energy now, perhaps because he was loyal to Anfey or he wanted to have his own troops. Kumaraghosha had tried really hard to convince Anfey to develop a paramilitary unit with about 1,000 guards in it.

Kumaraghosha had been a knight. Because of his background, he had treated the mercenaries in his unit as feisty knights. He asked all the mercenaries to forget about defense and focus on attacking. Every drum beat signaled the mercenaries to rush forward swinging their swords. The faster the drum beat, the faster and more intense the attack should be. Anfey thought the arena looked spectacular. Two rows of shiny swords clashed against each other. They looked very deadly.

It took mercenaries some time to adjust to this kind of training, especially when they were asked to fight in pairs. When they encountered their partners' attacks with wood swords, they tried to block the swords by instinct before they fought back. Kumaraghosha demanded they not block the swords, but instead keep moving forward as they swung their swords. It was contrary to what mercenaries knew about fighting.

Anfey did not interfere with Kumaraghosha's training, but he did not agree with him. Anfey admitted this strategy could allow mercenaries to maximize their attacking ability and attack with the most speed. However, Anfey was concerned about fatalities with this strategy. The paramilitary units were elite mercenaries Kumaraghosha handpicked himself. Anfey felt it was just not right to have these paramilitary units risk their lives to keep rushing forward on the battlefield.

Unfortunately, he did not want to tamper Kumaraghosha's enthusiasm. Besides, Anfey was never a general and could not give advice on an area he was not familiar with. He had to keep quiet. At the same time, Anfey decided he would not have paramilitary units join the battle before Kumaraghosha could prove he was right about this strategy. It would be too risky to send these units on the battlefield. Anfey really could not afford major losses.

"Suzanna, what do you think?" Anfey asked quietly.

"Very good. They look like they could dominate the battlefield."

After repeating one move hundreds of times, the mercenaries seemed to get what Kumaraghosha wanted them to do. Every time the drum beat sounded, they would move one step forward with the same pace as they swung their swords at the enemies and then move one more step forward. 1,000 mercenaries formed two square formations. The lights reflected on the swords moved in waves. Mercenaries moved very fast from one end of the arena to the other end and then moved back again.

"They only look imposing," Anfey sighed.

No one could be absolutely right about everything. If someone thought he was right about something, others might not think the same way. Someone could point out a lot of errors while others could think it was right. Everyone had limitations. As an assassin, Anfey had been very cautious. He paid a lot of attention to knocking his opponents down with one hit, better from a distance. No matter whether he could get his enemies in one shot or not, his safety was always more important. Therefore, Anfey could not agree on this almost suicidal fighting style.

"Hey, Alice, here you are." Suzanna nudged Anfey.

Anfey looked nervous when he looked down and saw Alice hurrying over. He turned around and said, "Let's go." He immediately jumped off the building. Suzanna did not know if she should laugh or cry. She hesitated for a second before she jumped off the building after Anfey. When Alice walked up to the roof, nobody was there. Alice was shocked for a moment before she rushed to the rails and saw Anfey running away from her without looking back. She could help getting enraged and screamed, "Master!"

In fact, Alice could not blame Anfey. Except for Alice, no one in the league, whether commanders, mage counselors or even Anfey, had settled into their roles yet. A rough structure of management had been developed, but they had a long way to go before it could get perfected. Anfey did not expect it would take so much work to manage a couple of thousands of mercenaries. It was overwhelming for them. A few mercenaries drank together but got into a fight for some reason. Some mercenaries borrowed money but did not pay it back, while some even refused to admit they borrowed the money. A mercenary walked into his house and saw his daughter sleeping with a guy in bed. Some mercenaries even saw their wives having sex with others. It had become chaotic in the league. Too many of these things were happening. It was common to see conflicts and problems whenever there were people. The most important responsibility of the leaders was to solve problems and resolve conflicts. Unfortunately, the management under Anfey's leadership would not fully function as needed. Their management team was in an embryonic stage.

Alice was able to handle a lot of things, but Anfey had to be involved when things got serious. Alice did not have strong magic power nor combat power, while mercenaries respected powerful people. They did not want to listen to a girl who was so weak at combat power. Some people thought Alice's judgements were fair, while others directly disobeyed her orders and claimed to appeal to higher authorities. They even gathered their friends and mercenaries to try to take justice into their own hands.

Even Superintendent Ye had lost considerable weight because he had been so busy with work. They had been putting out fires and running around the city. It was a struggle for them. If it were possible, Ye really wanted to resign and go back to being a regular mercenary.

"Anfey, do you think what we are doing to Alice is a little over-the-top?" Suzanna felt bad for Alice when she heard her screaming.

"I am giving her opportunities to build her experience," Anfey said with sincerity as he stopped walking. "I have given her full authority to do everything. She really has no reason to report to me for anything. If she kept looking to me for help, she would not grow as a leader." Anfey already understood why there were so many people chasing after power and willing to pay a big price for it. It was amazing to have power. At least it gave Anfey many excuses to cover his real intentions and allowed him to play the role of an instructional leader while he was just too lazy to deal with the conflicts and problems among mercenaries. Anfey used his power to claim he was training Alice, while he just laid more responsibilities on her shoulders. However, nobody could say he was wrong.

Anfey and Suzanna heard familiar laughter and voices ahead of them. They turned the corner and saw Christian, Riska and a few others. "What are you doing?" Anfey asked loudly as he walked towards them.

"We are waiting for Blavi," Christian said. "Anfey, do you want to go with us?"

"Where are you going?" Anfey asked.

"We have been so exhausted lately. We would like to find a bar to have some drinks and relax." Riska smiled. "Besides, Blavi has so much money and does not know how to spend it here. We want to help him with that."

Blavi's position was not the highest among them, but he had recently made more money than Christian and others. Alice had made rules that the allowance for taking assignments was a lot more than regular wages. Blavi had been following Anfey and took assignments that were at level C and D. Blavi had become their target to exploit, like a tall tree catching more wind.

"Anfey, let's go together," Sante laughed loudly.

"Keep it down." Anfey looked around and looked serious. He said quietly, "Everybody has been busy recently. I am not going to say no if you want to have some drinks, but don't be so obnoxious. You don't have to tell everyone you are going."

They looked at each other, and their smiles gradually faded. Anfey was right: everybody had been busy, and, as the saying goes, the first step was the most difficult part of the journey. They had not made any outstanding contributions to the league yet, but enjoyed high positions with power in the league. Many people had been watching them. Anfey had told them a few times to set examples for others. Of course, he did not mean setting examples for drinking.

"Look at Alice!" Anfey sounded even more serious. "She has not gone to sleep until midnight on a daily basis and wakes up in the early morning. She has been busier than any of you, but she never complained about it. Never mind. I will let you guys go. If you are going to have some drinks, go quietly and come back early. There are so many things waiting for you guys to handle."

"We got it, Anfey." Feller stuck his tongue out.

At the same time, Anfey suddenly noticed a strange look on Suzanna's face and then saw two people landing diagonally behind him. One was Blavi and the other was Alice. There were a decent amount of mages in Stormenburg. Sometimes mages flew in the city with Levitation magic, so Anfey got used to sensing magic surges in the city. He had sensed these magic surges but did not pay attention to it. He did not expect the magic surges would be from Blavi and Alice. Anfey's face was a little red. He thought he would have time to teach them a lesson before he ran away from Alice, since Alice could not jump off the building. The damn Blavi brought Alice over with Levitation magic. Looking at Alice's face, it was obvious Alice had heard his compliments.

"Master, I have to tell you about a situation." Alice only paused for a second before she got into her role as the CEO of the league.

"Why?" Anfey was shocked.

"Because this would be our first time to give mercenaries the death sentence," Alice said.

"This would not be the first time," Blavi commented in shock. He was standing next to Alice. "Anfey did..."

"What happened before has nothing to do with what is happening now. This would be the first time after we made the rules and developed the laws," Alice said.

"Is it that serious? Is it necessary to sentence them to death?" Christian asked in surprise.

"Master, do you remember the case you judged yourself yesterday," Alice said in a low voice. "A mercenary named Jupiter went to see his girlfriend. His girlfriend is a widow. As he walked into her house, he saw a guy in her house. He was enraged and pulled his sword out to fight the guy. The new boyfriend of the widow is a mercenary too. His name is Mauser. His fighting ability is actually better than Jupiter's. Jupiter lost the fight, and one of his hands, and then he came to me for justice."

Christian and others could not help frowning when they heard the story. This kind of case was the toughest. Jupiter was not innocent, since he started the fight, but he did lose his hand for it. Mauser seemed to have a case, but being between Jupiter and the widow was the main cause of this issue. Even a very experienced sheriff had to be very careful with this kind of case.

"As the saying goes, there is indeed too much drama in a widow's life," Anfey said bitterly. The statutes of the league were put together by copying here and there from other statutes. It was like an American quilt. The statutes were very simple, while mercenaries were feisty. They pulled their swords out to fight for any small quarrel. This kind of personal fighting happened very frequently.

Alice continued to relate the story: To appear as just as possible, Anfey was very cautious in approaching this kind of case. He asked about the details of what happened among Jupiter, Mauser and the widow before he made the final judgement. Anfey felt good about his final judgement, but it was very time-consuming. After questioning the three people involved, Anfey used deductive reason to figure out what had happened, and made sure it was the closest to the truth. It took more than a few hours. Things like this happened a lot. If Anfey needed to handle everything, he would die of exhaustion. In addition, Anfey thought he should spend more time on micro-management of the league instead of this time-consuming trivia.

"What judgement did Anfey make?" Christian asked.

"Jupiter was guilty," Alice responded. "The widow is not his wife. They have been seeing each other for about eight years. If they wanted to get married, they should have by now. He had no reason to hurt his peer for that widow. However, he only got five whips since he already lost one hand. Mauser was guilty too. He was too murderous. He should have stopped after he had the advantage in the fight. Master said he excessively defended himself. He will be punished with 30 whips. The widow is guilty too. She did not have skills to make a living, so she had to rely on men. She has been starving recently, but Jupiter did not help her. That was why she flirted with Mauser. Master decided to give her a lesser punishment than the law would allow. She will only be punished with three whips"

"Isn't Anfey's judgement fair? Why do you have to sentence them to death?" Christian was confused.

"Early this morning, Jupiter and two other mercenaries sneaked into the widow's house and killed Mauser and the widow," Alice said. "They committed homicide. It cannot be forgiven." Alice paused. "This is our first time to punish mercenaries under the new statutes, and it is a death sentence. In case of any riots, I hope Anfey will be vigilant."

"Why are you sure Jupiter killed Mauser? Was he caught at the scene?" Anfey asked.

"No. Commander Ye has been busy with this case all day. Some mercenaries reported that they saw Jupiter and the other two mercenaries sneak out of their quarters. Other mercenaries saw Jupiter around the widow's house. Besides, Jupiter pleaded guilty after Commander Ye's interrogation," Alice said.

"Since he already pleaded guilty, you can execute him tonight. I will supervise it." Anfey nodded.

"Yes, master," Alice responded.

A snow beast rushed over from the end of the street. Ling jumped off the snow beast. "Master!"

"Ling, why are coming back from White Mountain City so quick?" Anfey asked in surprise.

"Master, we encountered the mercenaries from White Mountain City and got bad news. Long asked me to come back to report to you," Ling said hurriedly. "There is a top level power in White Mountain City besides Master Swordsman Anthony. The top level power is Palace Archmage Michael from Ellisen Empire."

Everyone gasped when they heard what Ling said. Anfey had targeted White Mountain City as the first city to attack. They thought it would not be too hard. However, the appearance of an archmage in White Mountain City had crushed their hopes. On the battlefield, the power range of an archmage was way better than any master swordsman's, because archmages could use destructive forbidden magic.