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Chapter 523: Attack

 Chapter 523: Attack

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

When the flowers withered, the Maho Empire and Shansa Empire had arrived at Stormburg. They both had everything ready. All they needed to do was to take over the Shansa Empire. The Shansa Empire seemed ready to be conquered as well, as if waiting with its door open.

No one thought that King Yolanthe from the Maho Empire played such a such prank on everyone. Baery, Saul, and others all thought Alice would feel resentment against Yolanthe. They advised Yolanthe to deal with Alice with caution. However, Yolanthe did not seem to listen to the others' suggestions. He gave orders one after another, which not only stunned Alice, but also Baery and Saul.

A minister in the Maho Empire did not handle the tax issue well. His peerage title was taken away by Yolanthe. That minister became a civilian and was put in jail. It seemed that Yolanthe could have killed the minister in order to set an example, but did not do it as he perhaps rightly should have. His influence could be much more far reaching if he had killed that minister. In fact, this showed the personality of Yolanthe. He liked to combine punishment and reward at the same time. That minister had worked a long time for the empire. Even though he made some mistakes in his administration job, it would appear brutal to kill him with judgement, and possibly even hurt the country's interests. Some people with evil intention might use this opportunity to hurt Yolanthe's reputation. In addition, there was no difference between keeping that minister in jail or killing him. After all, anything could happen while he was in jail. If Yolanthe gave a look, that minister might die out of "sickness" the next day. Each profession had its dark side. It was not difficult for a prison guard to kill a prisoner. The very first order Yolanthe gave was to appoint Alice as the Honorable Grand Duke. Baery and Saul were a little shocked by this. Alice's face changed. It's was not that she was overly thrilled. Instead, she did not appreciate Yolanthe titling her. She doubted Yolanthe's intention, believing it was done merely to lure her to the Sacred City. She immediately went to look for Anfey, to see what he would say.

Anfey did not find anything inappropriate about Yolanthe titling Alice, but he could not convince Alice about it. Once women had suspicions about anything, they usually became very stubborn and only believed their own intuitions. Anfey and Alice talked for a long time, but they could not convince each other. Suddenly, Yolanthe's second order came. Yolanthe decided to keep the seven states in the Shansa Empire, and also change the the name of the capital of Shansa Empire into Centrol Province, thereby appointing Alice as the Executive Governor for those eight states. Yolanthe did not give Alice the title of a king, but asked her instead to do the job of a king. Of course, the Executive Governor did not have any military power.

Alice stood there with a foolish look on on her face for a long time. She did not wake up from the shock until Anfey patted her. She really did not understand why Yolanthe gave her such a high title and important job.

Alice wanted to turn Yolanthe's offers down, but she could not do it at this moment, since things had just gotten really serious. Yolanthe had made it clear in the letter that he would try his best to treat everyone the same way, no matter which country they were from, once the two countries were united. However, the followers of Yolanthe did not obey his order. Instead, they acted as conquerors and did bad things to the people in the Shansa Empire. To best way to protect the people from the Shansa Empire was to pick a capable person who did not only know the Shansa Empire well, but who also had Yolanthe's trust. Besides these qualities, this person had to have some popularity within the Shansa Empire, or at lease among the civilians and a few royals. Only someone with all these qualities and experiences could effectively manage the issues in the Shansa Empire. Alice knew she was the best pick, since she had everything Yolanthe wanted, but she was still not sure if Yolanthe really trusted her. Alice did not think two people could build their trust without even seeing each other in person. If Yolanthe wanted a different person other than Alice for this job, there was actually no other candidate who fit better.

After Alice became the governor of the eight states in the Shansa Empire, it became unnecessary for her to go back to the Sacred City. Finally, Alice felt a little relaxed about it. A few days later, sensational news came from Sacred City. After Yolanthe gave out those orders to Alice, there were voices which rose up against it. Many officials and royals thought Yolanthe was deceived by Anfey, and they agreed to give the Shansa Empire to Alice. Generals in the Moho Empire felt they had contributed so much for the Maho Empire, but had returned with nothing. They did not find the meaning of joining the war at all due to this.

Many royals got together and targeted Anfey as being the cause of the issues. They fiercely attacked Anfey, who got blamed for it, but in fact, he did not do anything. Royals had their different views on it though. Anfey and Alice were the founders, with powers of the League of Mercenaries. They had worked for a long time. Anfey had kept Alice's identity a secret for a long time. He did not give her identity out until now, so that she could get her reward from Yolanthe. Those royals thought Anfey even had asked Yolanthe to give the Shansa Empire to Alice. They believed Anfey and Alice had asked too much from the king.

A large, newly-controlled territory meant newly born royals, and an exponential growth in their land, wealth, and number of slaves. After the news of victory came back to the Maho Empire, all the royals were thrilled. They went around to get information about the states in the Shansa Empire. They were planning to build a paradise on the other land of the continent.

Yolanthe's appointment hit them hard, knocking them off their game. The higher hopes they had, the more disappointment they felt. A person who wanted to claim all the benefits could not be tolerated, and should be taken out.

Anfey did not know if he should laugh or cry about all these things. He had no idea what happened afterwards. After Anfey left the Sacred City with his league, he had no information about the Sacred City, unless a person was sent to him with urgent mail.

Outside of the Stormburg, Baery gathered everyone, including Marino, to get them ready before they started their trip. Anfey ran away from the gathering, giving some excuses after he heard there was another meeting. He walked to the outside of the campground and saw Shinbela supervising mercenaries in setting up tents. Alice hid herself behind a tree, peeking at something with a weird look.

Anfey quietly walked over out of curiosity, careful to not make any noise. He even held his breath. After he stopped behind Alice and stuck his head out to look down at what was in Alice's hand, Alice suddenly noticed him. She immediately folded the paper in her hand.

"Hey, what are you looking at so attentively?" Anfey asked.

"Do you want to read it?" Alice asked.

"Is it ok for me to read?" Anfey had seen clearly what was in Alice's hand. It was a letter. He was curious who would write a letter to her.

Alice held the letter out to Anfey, who opened it and only read two lines before he folded it closed. "This is a love letter. I should not read it. Here you go."

"What are you talking about?" Alice blushed. "The eldest Prince Wester asked someone to give me this letter."

"Wester? Wester wrote you a letter?" Anfey asked.

"What's wrong with that?" Alice asked.

"Then I do want to read it." Anfey opened the letter again and started to read it carefully.

"I did not know Wester was so talented." Alice smiled. "His writing is beautiful, isn't it?"

"Are you kidding me? Beautiful?" Anfey skimmed the letter and looked up. "This is called flirty. It seems that he has known you for a long time. Besides, it is in question as to whether he personally wrote this letter."

"Anfey, do you know Wester?" Alice asked.

"I met him a few times in the Sacred City," Anfey said.

"What kind of a person is he?" Alice looked far in the distance as she asked this of Anfey.

"Do you really want to know how I see him?" Anfey asked.

"Yes," Alice said.

"He is not a good guy," Anfey snorted. "He wrote you this letter without good intentions."

"Are you mad?" There was a big smile on Alice's face. She turned around to look into Anfey's eyes.

"Mad?" Anfey did not think this description was appropriate. But when he thought about the intentions of Wester, he did feel angry. "Yes, I am angry. I cannot believe that bastard wants to play that game with me." Anfey took another look at the letter in his hand and tore it into pieces, tossing them on the ground.

Alice did not try to save the letter. She only looked at Anfey with smiles. "Wester is the oldest Prince. How could you call him a bastard? Then..."

"Alice, I am not joking." Anfey sounded serious.

"I know." Alice nodded. "I would not take these kind of things from others."

Anfey blinked. This did not feel right to him. He immediately changed the topic. "Alice, who gave you this letter?"

Alice lifted her chin up and pointed in a direction. Anfey followed her and saw Shinbela.

"Shinbela?"

"She found the letter outside of my tent," Alice said.

"I cannot believe Wester's people are just around us." Anfey snorted again.

Anfey seemed to show his emotion too much at this moment. He could not be blamed though. Wester had touched his buttons. He never treated Alice as his property, and he had many other reasons to be mad.

Alice was not only his good friend, but also a good assistant. However, the situation had changed. Alice had become an Executive Governor for the eight states. A governor would not help anyone to manage a mercenary group. Anfey felt upset and sad when he thought of this. He was not in a good mood already, and what Wester did had just made it worse.

"It's nothing unusual," Alice said with a smile. "Look over there. Thousands of people were over there. Isn't it easy for him to arrange few people to get in?"

Anfey frowned a little, without commenting.

"But if that person could get close to my tent, he must be an official, or Shinbela's mercenaries."

Alice looked at Anfey and said: "Do you really want to find out who put the letter outside of my tent?"

"Of course," Anfey said slowly. "If people could put the letter outside of your tent, then they could assassinate you, too. Don't you remember the last assassination?" Anfey regretted what he said right away. He should not have mentioned the last assassination. Unfortunately, he could not take his words back.