Assassins Chronicle - Chapter 483
"Master Anfey, you do not seem to be in the mood to talk to me." A middle-aged man in priest gown leaned against the wagon wall, a sluggish smile on his face.
"Master Stan, please do not misunderstand me." Anfey smiled. "As you know, I have to take the League of Mercenaries to the north to fight with Manstuly after I get back to the White Mountain City. How do I explain it? The Tiger of Tawau mercenary group has had total control of Blackwater City. I barely get any information about Blackwater City. Manstuly got support from the elves, but I still have no idea what kind of power he has. Hehehe, I have a lot of pressure on me, so I am thinking a lot now. I hope you are not feeling neglected. I am so sorry if you feel that way."
"I heard about the story--how you had deep conflict with Manstuly." Stan laid his eyes on Suzanna. "In fact, he should be the one feeling anxious. Your League of Mercenaries' fame stretches far. Your league already has dozens of thousands of mercenaries right now, and there will be more mercenaries willing to join your league. With the support of General Baery, I cannot imagine how Manstuly will be able to match you."
"He has elves," Anfey said calmly. "Elves have been quiet for so long, no one would know what powers they have accumulated."
"I think what you said is right, but not completely," Stan said.
"Master Stan, are you saying…" Anfey encouraged Stan to explain.
"Elves' passions have been on arts. They never liked wars." Stan smiled. "They are bewitched by their ambitions, and bravely came out of the forest. However, don't forget most elves are meek. They love and cherish life. Phrases like 'taking up the positions to figh' or 'not afraid of risking their lives' do not fit elves."
"Really?" Anfey asked in surprise.
"In fact, a bloody and cruel battle could crush them." Stan twisted his whiskers. "Elves are a very special race. Their bodies are as weak as are their mentalities. If you can conquer their bodies, you are winning their mentalities as well. Let me give you some examples. As you know, many royals and businessmen like to domesticate elves and take them as se* slaves. Some humans were enslaved as well, but many of them fought against their owners, and even killed them. Have you ever heard any elves who killed their owners? They are too weak. The only radical movement they would take would be ending their own lives. Hehehe, elves think the reason they were taken over by humans is because humans are despicable and shameless, but I think it is because only the fittest survived."
"You are an archpriest. I did not know you were interested in this." Anfey looked a little shocked.
"I know you have known Slanbrea for a while. What do you think of him?" Stan did not answer Anfey's question, but asked one instead.
"Well, it's not appropriate for me to make any comments about him," Anfey said.
"He is a hypocrite. I am different than he is," Stan said.
"Are you saying you are a real gentleman?" Anfey asked casually.
"No, I am a sincere jerk." Stan smiled. "I talk about issues and state my opinions clearly, on the table. It is just easier for everyone. You do not have to try to figure out, then, how I think of things in the future. I will tell you."
"Hehehe." Anfey could not help laughing. He changed the topic immediately. "However, there are special elves. For example, Hotchbini."
"You are right. Hotchbini is daring and confident. She is indeed a special one." Stan smiled. "Do you think she could change the personality of elves with her own efforts?"
"Hard, very hard." Anfey sighed.
"It is not just hard. It is impossible." Stan shook his head. "If you want to beat elves, you have to crush their confidences first. If you could crush their confidences, most elves would change their ideas of fighting with you, even if Manstuly still wants to fight with you, or if Hotchbini does not want to make any compromises. Of course, the bloodier the battle will be, the more effective it will be. I do not think it will be a difficult task for you to do, with what I know about you."
"Right, but it is not an easy task, either." Anfey went quiet to to think for a second and said, "Master Bruzuryano has been very nice to me. Without him, I would not be who I am today. If Master Bruzuryano asked me to stop, I think I would."
Anfey was being honest about it. Besides Saul and Ernest, he respected Bruzuryano the most. Without the Heart of Nature, he definitely would not accomplish so much. What Saul and Ernest gave him just helped him start the journey, but what Bruzuryano gave him was the key to becoming a saint.
"You are really hesitant about it. It does not seem like you." Stan smiled. "I agree that Master Bruzuryano is very honest. Because of his honesty, he cannot stop you from exacting your revenge."
Anfey quietly listened to Stan without interrupting him.
"Manstuly asked druids to attack your wife, and they almost got her. If Bruzuryano could not stop them back then, he cannot ask you to stop your revenge now," Stan said in a low pitch. "Manstuly is a very utilitarian and ambitious person. How could he give up his dream? He cannot. Would Hotchbini back out? As far as I know, one of her sons was killed in an attack. Even if she did not have any problem with you before, the hatred between you and her is there now. Manstuly is able to command druids, while Hotchibini enjoyed good fame among elves, but they both have been very aggressive toward you. Master Bruzuryano could not ask you to keep making compromises."
In fact, Stan did not tell Anfey the true reason why he thought Bruzuryano would not stop him. The key to this problem is that Anfey had become one of the brightest stars, after he killed Archmage Michael and beat Desvidia, one of the three master necromancers. Everyone was sure that Anfey would have a bright future. Anfey was still so young, surely he would become a supreme power, like Minos I in the legend, in the future. It would be the stupidest move for anyone to become Anfey's enemy.
Stan believed Bruzuryano had to bear with the pain of not being able to come out to convince Anfey to stop the revenge on the elves, no matter how cruel Anfey cruel Anfey could be to them. Bruzuryano already had built such a good relationship with Anfey. He had to maintain this good relationship for the long-term interests of the druids and elves.
Anfey would not only become a supreme power, but also would become an important official of Yolanthe. Yolanthe trusted Anfey. Yolanthe had showed his strong determination to start the war, before the disaster of the death sprits ended completely. It made sense that the good relationship with Anfey would help with the future development of the druids.
Manstuly and Hotchbini were in a situation where they had to continue with their plans. They made the mistake of being Anfey's enemies, so they had to continue to fight with him. If they could not completely destroy Anfey, they would suffer in the future.
Of course, Stan could not tell these things to Anfey. He was the representative of the church. His position was higher than Anfey's. If he told everything to Anfey, it might make him sound like he was kissing up to Anfey, which was not good for the negotiation in the future, and would give Anfey the chance to look down upon the church. He held different ideas and principles than Slanbrea. He did not want to be involved in politics.
His enemies were never the kings, but the Goddess of Nature. He could not help that Bruzuryano had the advantage in the situation, but he could let Bruzuryano enjoy every benefit by himself. He wanted to make up for his mistakes, and to reduce or get rid of the hostility Anfey had toward churches, and thus, rebuild a relationship where they could trust each other again. Therefore, he had shown his sincerity to Saul, before he came here to see Anfey.
"It looks like you know druids and elves very well," Anfey said in a low pitch.
"Not really, but I have worked with them for the past several decades. I am familiar with them." Stan was quite humble about this.
Anfey was deep in thought for a little bit, then changed the topic. He asked in a low pitch, "Since you are so sincere about it, I will be the same. Let me put everything on the table. Why the table. Why are so interested in Warner in my league?" Stan claimed himself to be a sincere jerk, but that was just a way of saying he was humble. Anfey ignored using the phrase "jerk" when he referred Stan. Stan had been very nice, so there was no reason for Anfey to stir anything up.
Even though Anfey paid careful attention to his wording, he did not show too much respect for Stan through his actions. In fact, Anfey's attitude toward people and issues had changed after he broke through his limits. Anfey did not change his attitude toward Saul, Erndst, Baery, his friends and a few others, but did he change his attitude toward others.
Others seemed to be okay with Anfey's changes. Anthony and Stan were older than Anfey, but they never demanded that he automatically respect them. In this world, where only powers prevailed, powers talked. Age did not seem to matter that much.
"Master, the Book of Life is a holy object for the church, so we feel it is necessary to talk to Warner. What kind of priest is Warner?" Stan smiled bitterly, when they got a chance to talk about the Book of Life.
"What if he could not make you happy?" Anfey asked.
"Master, the problem is not making us satisfied, but us." Stan said it in a very strategic way. The "us" definitely included Anfey. Stan made it very clear that he would not force anything to change. He only wanted to find a middle path for both parties.
"I am glad you said it that way." Anfey smiled. "Oh, Master Stan. I have some questions about Light series magic. May I ask you?"
"You can perform Light Series Magic?" Stan asked in surprise. In fact, he faked the surprise. It was not a secret anymore that Anfey could perform Light Series Magic. This was another reason that he wanted to build the relationship with Anfey.
The pace of their conversation got faster as the wagon traveled further. The atmosphere improved. Stan's knowledge and experience on Light series magic far surpassed Warner's. Anfey was so eager to know, while Stan was happy to answer his questions. The atmosphere could not have been better.