Assassins Chronicle - Chapter 73
Anfey felt someone was staring at him. He turned to the side and saw the little unicorn, which had not been able to open its eyes yesterday, already had opened its eyes and stared at him in curiosity. The light blue eyes were so cute that Anfey could not help patting its head and smile. The little unicorn enjoyed his patting with its eyes half closed.
"Anfey, you are awake. Did you have a good dream last night?" Blavi smiled and sat next to Anfey.
"Me?" Anfey asked.
"Yes, you were smiling in the dream. Miss Niya was woken up by your laugh and complained about you."
Anfey tried to recall his dreams but nothing came to him. He said, "I am so sorry if I disturbed your rest. You can wake me up next time when you see me dreaming."
"It was alright. You had been the most tired one for the past few days. We all knew it. Miss Niya wanted to wake you up, but others stopped her. Hahaha," Blavi said.
Anfey felt warm inside. Anfey was a person who could not express himself in words and did not like to express himself, so he did not respond in any way to Blavi. He looked out from the cave and found it was already bright outside. He was thought for a while to clear his mind.
Anfey said, "Blavi, is everyone awake yet?"
"Yes, they are meditating outside," Blavi answered.
"Can you ask everybody to come back? We have to hurry to finish something," Anfey said.
"Sure." Blavi nodded, stood up, and walked outside.
Everyone returned to the cave after a while. Anfey looked around and found that Riska was not there. He frowned and asked, "Where is Riska?"
They looked at each other with excitement. Anfey was surprised and wondered if anything good had happened that had made them so happy. He had given them reasons to laugh at him last night though.
Smiles appeared on Anfey’s face as well. It was a good thing to see the bond among team members getting stronger. The stronger the team was, the safer they would feel. If all of them were mages, it would not be difficult to kill a Zedar. They might even be able to overthrow the king in any country on Pan Continent. Anfey understood that anyone who had the power could change the rules in this world, and anyone who could change rules could hold the truth. No one could disobey.
"Ok, we should not disturb Riska. Hmmm, how did Riska learn how to meditate," Anfey asked out of curiosity.
"You should have asked Suzanna this question. She knows best." Cristian smiled.
Anfey looked at Suzanna. Suzanna hesitated for a second and said slowly, "Yesterday I was carrying Riska as we ran with the manticore just behind us. I asked Riska to meditate immediately to restore his magic power, and then…"
"Is it that simple?" Anfey shook his head with a smile.
"I have already mastered the trick. Feller, we are going to look for a senior magic beast today. I will use up my magic first, and you will carry me as you run away from the beast. Hahaha, tomorrow I will be a magister." Sante laughed.
"Sante, my magic power was far less than yours. I would not be able to carry you as we run. Why don’t you let me try to meditate in danger? I will protect you if I could be magister later. Don’t worry. I will protect you even if you were a mage your whole life." Blavi said.
"Damn it! You are a mage all your life, Sante said angrily.
"Ok, ok. Stop playing. Danger could actually trigger your potential, but there have only been a few successful cases. You had better dedicate yourselves to your practice." Anfey thought a little bit and continue to ask, "Christian, what are the benefits of the blood of a unicorn? Can you tell us in detail?"
Anfey understood that he should give rewards after the battle to better encourage everyone, so he needed to know about the benefits of the unicorn blood before he could distribute it to his legion.
"There are a lot of benefits. No matter for mages, swordsmen, or knights, it is priceless. However, it was more beneficial to mages. Anfey, let me put it this way. If Riska carried the unicorn blood with him yesterday, Suzanna and Riska would not have been in danger. At least Riska could have restored his magic power and escaped the danger with levitation magic. There will be changes to the body every time you take unicorn blood. For instance, both mental power and magic power could change. I can give you another example. If a muggle who had never practiced any magic before was fortunate enough to have unicorn blood, take it for a long time, and practiced magic for over ten years, he could break through to become a magister even without talent," Christian said slowly.
"Does it have any other benefits?" Anfey asked.
"This is all I know, but it was blood from a top-level unicorn, Anfey. I think it will give us even more benefits," Christian answered.
"Anyone else know other benefits?" Anfey looked around.
Everybody shook their heads. Suzanna noticed Anfey was looking at her. She gave it some serious thought and shook her head. "What I know is almost the same as Christian."
"Then, Christian, can you distribute the unicorn blood to everyone, but not too much. Keep the rest of it. You guys listen up. This should be used to save your lives. You should take it only in life-threatening situations. Do you understand?"
"Yes," everyone answered loudly.
"Suzanna, is the unicorn blood good for you as well?" Anfey asked.
"Yes," Suzanna nodded.
"Christian, give Suzanna double amounts. Keep one for later and take the other one." Anfey thought Suzanna needed it.
"No, I do not need it. I will take the same amount as everyone else." Suzanna was shocked and turned it down immediately.
"This is an order, and everyone in this legion should follow my orders," Anfey said flatly. In fact, Anfey decided to give her the double amounts of unicorn blood because he thought it was the best for the team, not because he wanted to give her special treatment. Senior swordsmen were considered high level, not only in this legion, but also outside the legion. Suzanna’s ability to fight with full force at dangerous moments would decide the fate of the team.
Suzanna looked down. She did not expect Anfey to give her any special treatment. Instead, she thought he would blame her for the damage she did to the team because of her carelessness yesterday. Maybe this man was not as evil as she thought. Suzanna remembered that particular night when the word "evil" came up in her mind. Her face turned red, and then she turned quickly to the side. She did not dare to look at Anfey.
"Christian, can you set up a passing magic array?" Anfey turned to Christian and asked.
"Magic crystal," Christian said.
"I have said before that you do not have to worry about the magic crystal," Anfey interrupted.
"Another passing magic array was set up in the manticore cave, about 20 miles away from here. If we run into any danger, we could move over there immediately."
Christian was quiet for a while and smiled bitterly, shaking his head. "No, it is too far. My mastery of magic was not good enough, plus my ability was only enough to set up the smallest passing magic array. It could only send one person at a time. It would not be that helpful if we were in danger. We could only have one or two people escape, at the most."
"So, never mind." Anfey shook his head. "Sante and Sanchez, can you take a look at the manticore cave to see if there is anything we can use. Hmm, be careful. If there is anything unusual, come back immediately."
"Yes." Sante nodded.
Anfey was still a little worried. He thought a little bit and said. "Blavi, were you on watch last night? How do you feel now? Do you need any rest now?"
"No, I am ok. Anfey, do you need me to do anything?" Blavi asked.
"Can you go with Sante and Sanchez? I am worried about them," Anfey said.
"No problem." Blavi smiled.
"One more thing. We need make our shelter better," Anfey said. "We had to sleep as a crowd before. You know we have girls in our legion. It looks inappropriate. I do not want us to look like just animals."
"Yes, sure." Niya nodded to agree. She was the one who really wished to change their living situation. She was used to comfortable living and suddenly she was on the run, which made her depressed. Anfey and his legion were clean enough that there was no one with untidy hair, no odor in the cave;but she could not sleep well every night.
"Christian, can you separate the cave with your construction magic," Anfey asked.
"No. Magic is against the natural rules. It can temporally control elements, but not permanently. The elements will disappear at some point."
"It seems that we have to build a wall with our bare hands," Anfey said, smiling.
"Anfey, why are you separating the cave? Why don’t we build a house outside the cave?" Niya asked loudly.
"A house in the field would be an obvious target. What would happen if enemy saw it?" Anfey said, shaking his head.
"I know a good place. Shally and I used to live there. It was surrounded with very tall ancient trees and thick brush. If we build a house in the brush and cover it with some ivy, no one could find it, even people passing by," Suzanna said with a smile.
"Sounds good. Anfey, let’s build a house over there, ok?" Niya was so happy. It seemed that she and the unicorns were inclined toward the light. They hated the dark and gloomy cave.
Anfey was quiet for a while before he said with a smile, "Ok." In fact they were in some danger if they stayed there. He could not keep everyone in this cave for safety. They would be easily noticed if enemies flew by in the sky when Anfey’s legion went out to move around as a group. This was all Anfey could do. It was their fate if they would be noticed by accident.
"Yeah!" Niya jumped up happily.
"Blavi, three of you can go to the manticore’s cave now. Come back as soon as possible. The rest of you get some rest, and we will build our house later," Anfey said.
The little unicorn seemed to sense the happiness in the air. He looked up and bit Anfey’s fingers with something that sounded like talking.
"This little guy is hungry." Anfey smiled. He felt the little unicorn was constantly sucking his finger. "Feller, can you give me a piece of bread?"
Feller tossed Anfey a piece of bread. Anfey took the bread and patted it around the unicorn’s mouth. The little unicorn turned to the side to smell it and then continued to suck Anfey’s finger.
"You are picky about food, little buddy. Feller, can you give me a sausage?"
"Anfey, unicorns are not carnivores!" Niya yelled. She was jealous of Anfey because the little unicorn was only close to Anfey. She fell in love with the little unicorn at first sight. Unfortunately, the little guy did not pay any attention to her at all. The little unicorn could not have its eyes open, and of course it would not be able to look at her and pay attention to her either.
"How do we know unicorns are not carnivores if they were never fed with any meat?" Anfey took the sausage from Feller. He teased the unicorn with the sausage. Of course, the little unicorn did not care about the sausage.
"This little guy! Feller, can you give me a piece of steak?" Anfey said helplessly.
"Anfey, are you a fool? It is still a baby. It needs milk."
"Right, right. This little unicorn needs milk," Suzanna agreed with Niya and nodded. Like Niya, Suzanna liked the little unicorn, but this little guy had only been close to Anfey. Anyone who wanted to be close to the little unicorn had to be close to Anfey, so Suzanna could only watch from a distance.
"Bulls*^t!" Anfey’s lips curled down.
Niya got mad and yelled at Anfey with her hands resting on her hips. "What do you mean I am bullsh*^ting? Anfey, you need to give me an explanation!"
"Do you have milk?" Anfey asked.
Anfey’s question made Niya’s anger subside right away. Niya wasn’t sure whether he was speaking of cow milk or breast milk. Niya had to think in context, or think on the bright side that Anfey meant to ask about the milk to feed the little unicorn. She shook her head anxiously.
"Do you have milk?" Anfey laid his eyes on Suzanna.
Suzanna stepped back and curled up next to Niya with a red face.
"If neither of you have milk, why do you think I would have milk?" Anfey took the steak and touched it to the nose of the little unicorn. "Little guy, I am telling you this is the last try. If you do not want it, you will not have any food."
Everyone was containing their laughter, but no one dared to laugh out loud. Niya did not dare to show her temper to Anfey when she was mad. However, to the others, it was a different story.
It seemed that unicorns did not care about meat. The little unicorn just held the steak on its nose and make some sounds in protest.
"How about we pick some fruit and crushed them into juice to see if he would like it," Suzanna said quietly. She found that Anfey had the ability to make anything he said sound reasonable and just. She felt helpless in the face of it.
"Alright, you and Niya will be in charge of picking fruit. You guys could not help build the house anyway." Anfey rushed to take some responsibilities off his shoulders. He tried to pull his finger out from the little unicorn’s mouth. It gripped his finger tightly even though it did not have any teeth yet. It bit on Anfey’s finger and would not let go, with the result that the little unicorn was hanging in the air.
Anfey did not know what to do with this little guy. He could try to hit him, but the baby unicorn was simply hungry and had done nothing wrong. If he tried to scold him, others would laugh at him for losing his patience. Great leaders throughout history do not scold others for no particular reason. He could not reason with it, because the little unicorn was not able to understand.
"Can you guys go and pick some fruit now?" Anfey lifted his head and asked for a facor.
"Sure," Niya agreed quickly, nodding. She seemed to be even more enthusiastic about the little unicorn than Anfey.
On the other side of the cave, Christian was passing out the unicorn blood. Anfey was afraid Christian would distribute too much unicorn blood, so he reminded him about it beforehand. In fact, Christian was very careful with the amount of blood he gave away. He gave everyone only three drops and kept most of it. Everyone seemed fine with this, because they trusted Anfey, just as they trusted their team members. The unicorn blood would be theirs, and it did not matter where it was now because it would disappear for no reason.
Blavi led Sante and Sanchez to explore the manticore cave. Niya and Suzanna went to pick fruit. Feller stayed to take care of Riska, who had been meditating. Anfey lead Shally and the rest of the group to the cave where the two sisters used to live.
In terms of magic skills, Anfey was the second worst among the mages. This second-to-last position was earned by "battling" with Shally. Anfey beat Shally with fire balls. In other areas, Anfey was so much better than these mages. At least Anfey knew that no matter whether they were going to build a wood or brick house, they would have to start with the foundation.
Anfey walked around with the little unicorn in his arms. Suzanna was right that this area was hidden very well from the outside. Even though it was not surrounded by mountains in the front and back, the trees were tall and thick. The area they chose to build the house was especially surrounded by seven or eight huge ancient trees, one of which was so thick that it took four people to hold their hands together to hug the tree. These ancient trees were evergreen trees. Only tree branches could be seen from the top or sides. Even if they built a tall house, it would be covered by the ancient trees.
Anfey remembered that regular bushes did not grow well under the trees, since the trees would block the sunlight the bushes needed;but in the magic world his common sense had been turned around quite often. The bushes here not only grew everywhere but also very thick, showing their energetic life spirit. Grasses under the bushes grew as high as their knees. The air smelled fresh, which permitted people to feel refreshed as well.
"Let’s build it right here." Anfey nodded. "Shally, come over for a second."
"Yeah? What happened, brother Anfey?" Shally answered quickly, but did not move any closer.
"Shally, come over," Anfey asked again.
"Why?" Shally saw Anfey looking over and felt a little nervous. She quietly moved her body to better block something from Anfey.
"What is behind you?" Anfey was a good observer. He noticed that Shally pretended to act casual, which raised a flag for Anfey. Anfey saw a little dirt pyramid behind Shally.
"Nothing, there is nothing." Shally blushed and waved her hands nervously.
Anfey realized something and smiled after seeing Shally’s red face. Even if a person was an archmagi or master swordsman, the need to eat, drink, urinate, and defecate had to be met. That dirt pyramid must be the sisters’ temporary bathroom.
"Christian, let’s build the house here. Everyone else needs go and collect wood. It’s better to collect just one tree from one area. Don’t cut down too many trees, which would appear suspicious," Anfey said.
"We got it. What will we do then?" Christian asked.
"Then build the house," Anfey answered.
"We...we have never built a house before," Christian said, smiling awkwardly.
"I have never built one either, so you guys can build it the way you want to. Make sure it’s sturdy."
"But you need to give us some instructions," Christian complained.
Instructions? Anfey shook his head. Neither of them had ever been a carpenter, nor did they have any tools for building the house. What could Anfey do? They had to build it with their instincts. The ancestors of human beings could survive and generate offspring under similar conditions. So could they. Moreover, practice makes perfect. If they failed once, they could try it again. They would improve later.
"I will make marks and you guys can just follow the marks to build the house." Anfey walked to an area and tapped it with his foot. "For example, you can put a post here. You can hammer the post into the dirt."
"Wait, Anfey, what do we hammer with?"
Anfey looked around and found a rock about up to his chest lying not far from him. "Do you see that rock? Two of you can hold the post still and the rest of you need to control the element in the air to lift the rock and smash it onto the post."
"Oh, my god Anfey, are you kidding me? It will take so much of our magic power," Christian said, his eyes wide.
Anfey had a wide grin. That smile looked wry in some way. Compared with their escape, they were comparatively safe now. What should they do when they felt safe? They should prepare for danger in advance, even in a time of peace. What could they do to deal with any potential danger? The simplest, most direct and effective way was to improve the legion’s power and skills.
Anfey could not give any suggestions with regards to magic. He could only think from another perspective. The mages were physically weak, so they would be very vulnerable once they lost their magic power. Anfey understood that it was not good to rely on just one thing. Therefore, he planned to make them do some physical work to build their bodies stronger.
Think about it: when mages cut down a big tree with their magic power, they would have to clean up the branches with their magic power, then carry the tree back and, finally, build the house. They would work a lot every day. Of course, they could take some rest when they were too tired. There was no due date for this project. It would be fine if it took them half a month or even one month to build the house. If they had a supervisor, it had to be Niya, since she wanted to move in so badly.
They would be stronger when they finished building the house. They would be able to do regular fitness training after it was done. If Anfey had asked them to do fitness training now, they would not benefit from it much. If Feller, for example, was asked to run 1000 meters, he would be exhausted to death. Working over their limits would not benefit him at all.
"If you use up your magic power, you guys can do meditation. Take this task as a practice. Ok, starting tomorrow, everyone will practice magic power in the morning, build the house in the afternoon, and rest after the dusk," Anfey said with a smile on his face.
Christian walked to the rock and tried to move the rock by controlling the elements in the air. The rock almost weighed a thousand pounds, so Christian could not move it by controlling the elements in the air.
"How can this work?" Christian smiled bitterly.
"Try a few more times. You’ll catch on. If this rock is too heavy, you can find smaller ones first, but be careful with it. Don’t have any accident," Anfey said with a smile.
"Anfey," Niya’s voice rose from the bottom of the hill.
From the area where the sound came from, Anfey saw Niya running excitedly with a cup full of white glue-like stuff in her hand.
"Take a look, we got the fruit pulp." Niya raised the cup high to show off.
"You guys finally came back," Anfey sighed softly. His fingers were hurt from the little unicorn’s sucking. It had already been sucking all ten fingers for one round. He could not imagine what might have happened to his fingers if they had come back a day later. His fingers might lose their skin.
"Come, little one." Niya held the cup out.
The little unicorn seemed to smell something and let Anfey’s finger go a little. Its little head turned to Niya and tested the fruit pulp by sticking its tongue in the cup. The little unicorn suddenly looked so happy. The little unicorn rolled its tongue two or three times in the fruit pulp. It quickly emptied the cup. It was obvious the little guy was starving.
"That’s it?" Anfey asked in a disappointing tone. He just had a feeling of relief because he did not want to walk around with this little guy any more.
"I’ll have some." Suzannna smiled and took the cup. She took out an indistinguishable fruit and gripped it lightly. The fruit was crushed into white pulp, flowing down through her fingers.
This was the power of a senior swordswoman, a walking blender.
Niya caught the pulp with the cup and held it next to the little unicorn’s mouth. The little unicorn finished it in a few gulps again.
The little unicorn finally made a satisfying sound after eating seven or eight of those fruits. It licked Niya’s hands and moved closer to her. Niya was so happy about it, she jumped around. Most girls like cute animals. No matter how smart she was and what kind of personality she had, she was still a girl.
"What do we do later on?" Suzanna asked, frowning.
"What about later?" Anfey asked, momentarily shocked.
"When Shally and I used to live here, we searched everywhere. There were not many trees with fruit. Some of them are not edible, so it would not take long for this little guy to eat up all the fruit."
"How much fruit do we have now?" Anfey asked.
"Not much. Those were saved by Shally and me for later, when we are starving," Suzanna answered.
"It’s alright. We will talk about it when the time comes." Anfey paused for a second and suddenly remembered something. "Right, unicorns do not eat honey, do they?"
"I am not sure about it," Suzanna answered.
"I found a huge beehive yesterday. Today it’s too late, but I can go and get it tomorrow. If this little guy does not eat honey, we can have it. It will add one more dish to our meal anyway." Anfey smiled.
"Sounds good. Anfey, I will go with you tomorrow." Hearing honey was edible, Niya looked even more excited than the little unicorn when it was eating the fruit pulp. It was getting hard for Niya just to eat bread and sausages.
The little unicorn suddenly struggled in Anfey’s arms. Anfey could not wait for this moment to happen, so he quickly put the little unicorn on the ground. The little unicorn slowly struggled to stand up.
"Wow, it can stand up now. It can stand up!" Niya screamed in surprise.
The little guy did not give Niya any chance to show off. After she screamed, the little guy’s front legs buckled and its head hit the ground.
"Was it hurt?" Niya reached out her hand to touch the little unicorn.
Anfey pulled Niya away and smiled. "This is a unicorn. It would not get hurt easily." Anfey even gave that little guy’s butt a little kick.
"You…" Niya was not happy with Anfey’s action.
Anfey pretended he did not hear her and gave it another kick on the butt. If it was not an significant issue or something involving providing directions to the team, Anfey did not want to confront Niya with it.
"Stop kicking!" Niya was so concerned that she grabbed Anfey’s foot to stop him.
The little unicorn started to stand up, trembling like a very sick person. It could not stop wobbling. The little guy was surprised after he first tried standing up. It did not dare to move: its feet were frozen to the ground.
"Look, my way is better." Anfey smiled.
"You are so bad!" Niya complained.
"If men are not bad…" Anfey suddenly stopped right there. If he had finished his saying, it would have sounded like he was flirting with Niya.