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Chapter 556: Trusting

 Chapter 556: Trusting

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

Alice stood on the balcony, looking at the night sky. Baery and Kumaraghosha had already left Yellowstone Province with the army a few days ago. Perhaps it was because of the place's proximity to her home, or maybe it was because of the refugees, but she stayed behind.

The entire mansion was silent. The mercenaries had left with Anfey, and the only ones that stayed with her were Shinbela and the mercenaries Shinbela had trained to keep Alice safe.

"Alice?" Suzanna called as she walked out onto the balcony. She wrapped a shawl around Alice's shoulder and said, "It's chilly outside. You need to stay healthy."

"Thanks, Suzanna," Alice said quietly.

Suzanna sighed. She didn't like how uptight Alice was. Despite how long they'd known each other, Alice still refused to let go of her manners.

"The rumors of Anfey?"

Suzanna nodded. "If they want to do something, they will do it soon."

"Be careful," Alice reminded Suzanna.

"Don't worry about me," Suzanna said confidently, patting her sword. "I have this. You are the one that should be careful."

"If they are really working for Wester, they won't do anything to me," Alice said, adjusting the shawl around her. "I may be bait, but their goal is you and Anfey."Suzanna frowned and nodded.

"You have to be careful," Alice said, turning to Suzanna.

"I know. I will," Suzanna said, taking Alice's hand and squeezing it. "Let's go inside."

Just outside of Alice's mansion, in a small commoner's house, were two groups of men in dark clothing. The two groups were clearly hostile toward each other.

"Douglas," one of the men said quietly. His voice was quivering, clearly enraged. "We had a plan. Why are you backing out at the last minute?"

"I never said I'm backing out," Douglas said. Even though his face was covered, he was clearly smiling. "Volte, I said you should clean up the mess you made. As far as I can tell, you didn't do anything."

"What does that have anything to do with this plan?"

Douglas sighed and shook his head. "Volte, you are letting your anger get to your head. Anfey knows we exist. He didn't know anything before, but thanks to your sweet sister, his guard is up. I want you to do damage control, but you didn't do anything. Do you really think Anfey is stupid? He knows that we exist, but he still left Yellowstone Province. Can't you tell? You're walking into a trap!"

"I am not stupid, Douglas," Volte said coldly. "My men reported back to me already. Anfey is indeed in Shinwa Province with Baery, Saul, and Steger. No matter what they're planning, Suzanna is the only one here. With the two of us, we can take on Suzanna. Anfey is only a human. He makes mistakes as well."

"Fine," Douglas said with a shrug. "Go, then. I will stay here, so you can enjoy the glory yourself."

"You!" Volte spat angrily. Suzanna was a threat to him, but assassinations were not simple. He had to end the fight as fast as possible. If he startled Shinbela and her mercenaries, it would be a much harder fight. He knew the mercenaries trained to guard Alice. Despite the moles he had planted, those guards will still be a threat.

"What about me?" Douglas said, shaking his head. Volte's actions had made him very angry. That rescue plan Volte had had already startled Anfey and his men. Douglas almost had a heart attack when he heard Julie sent her men in for an assassination. Douglas wanted to lay low for a while, so even if the plan didn't go as planned, they could still strike a damaging blow. Now the plan would go to waste.

"You really are going to back out?" Volte asked. He was getting impatient. Julie was Volte's only family. What Julie went through in Anfey's hands made him angry already. Today was the day he would get his revenge.

"You're threatening me now?" Douglas asked incredulously. "You want to force me to help you kill someone?" Douglas shook his head and chuckled.

Volte glanced at Douglas again and turned to leave. He was stopped by the sudden sound of crows.

Volte's breath hitched, and his hand flew to his sword. "It's my people," Douglas said coolly. "Don't stress over it."

"You told people about this place?"

"It won't be a secret after tonight," Douglas said.

A few moments later, a man in a mage's robe walked in. He was young and handsome, with the badge of a senior magister on his robe.

"Brufit," Douglas said. "Good news or bad?"

"Good," Brufit said. He glanced at Volte and said, "But it made me more confused."

"Why is that?"

"Anfey is indeed at Shinwa Province right now," Brufit said. "I just don't think it's normal, sir. He is not a careless person. Baery and Kumaraghosha's army is more than capable of taking Shinwa Province. He is not needed there. Why didn't he stay here?"

Douglas and Volte both frowned. Brufit had just asked the question Volte had been wondering. He couldn't allow himself to overthink this. He had to keep his ultimate goal in mind.

"What's even weirder is that Anfey took Saul's students with him," Brufit said. "He commanded several battles. He is even more busy than Baery. It's almost like he's purposely keeping himself busy."

"I know what he's doing," Volte suddenly said.

"What?" Douglas asked, surprised.

"He wants the glory. He wants more, which is why he is there with the army. Baery is the general, and Christian's uncle. He wouldn't fight for glory with them. Anfey and Christian want more glory, which is why they are with Baery's army."

"I can see that," Douglas said. "How's Anfey behaving in Shinwa Province?"

"He made several appearances," Brufit said. "It's almost like he's afraid people don't know he's there as well, which is why I thought someone else was impersonating him."

"That has to be it," Volte said. "He wants to scare us, make us think he's still here."

"But why didn't he take Suzanna with him? Why keep her here?"

"Because Anfey doesn't know who we are, and who our target is," Volte said. "He needs someone to stay behind and protect Alice. The only people capable of that are Anthony and Suzanna. Suzanna is the better choice between the two."

Douglas nodded, his frown slowly disappearing. "He knows that we exist, but he doesn't know what we're capable of. He thinks Suzanna and Shinbela are enough to stop us. To him, he's not taking a risk."

Douglas turned to Volte and back to Brufit, who thought about it, then nodded. "It makes sense," he said. "There had been multiple attempts on Alice's life."

"Alright, then," Douglas said, putting his mask on. He had always trusted Brufit and his judgement. However, he did not notice the small smirk on Brufit's face as he left the room.