Roland was quite surprised. He remembered that the old thing was rather healthy the last time they met each other.
"You even know that the king is gravely ill?" Roland swallowed the noodles in his mouth and said enviously, "According to common sense, the king would suppress the news if hes ill, right?"
Ashrosfin took out a waterskin from his system Backpack and was about to clean his bowl and chopsticks.
However, Roland snapped his fingers with his right hand, which had grown back, and a few water balls floated around Ashrosfin.
After a brief shock, Ashrosfin understood Rolands intention. He washed the bowl and the chopsticks in the water and said in admiration, "The Mages do have a lot of helpful tricks for life."
The other players had finished their food too. When they saw the water balls, they quickly joined them and stuffed their bowls and chopsticks into them. Very soon, those water balls became very dirty.
These merchant players had the good habit of not wasting resources. After all, as people who traveled all the time, they only had limited clean water in their system Backpacks, and even though they had ways to replenish it, there were always accidents. So, they always used water as judiciously as possible.
Seeing that they were all expectant, Roland had to summon a dozen more water balls for them to do dishes.
After having enough food, the players gathered together and resumed the party.
Andonara and the magic apprentices, sitting under the tree, found that something was weird with these happy players.
They felt that the players were too carefree and unserious. It seemed that these people did not care about anything.
They did not exactly like such an attitude, but for some reason, they approved of it in their hearts.
Ashrosfin put the bowl and the chopsticks back into his system Backpack, before he continued, "The news has been blocked, but not very effectively. After all, the kings control has been weakened now that hes seriously ill."
"So why did the first prince make that statement at the party? For the throne?" Roland was confused. "Andonara has no influence in the royal family. His speech could only reveal his lack of manners and tolerance, which cant be in favor of him in the competition for the throne, right?"
Ashrosfin looked at Andonara nearby and explained, "But of people he invited, three were the queens enemies, who are very powerful right now. He was only telling them that he would be their ally if they wanted to deal with the queen. As for the cause of their enmity with the queen, you can ask her in person."
"You know this too?"
Roland felt that he had underestimated these merchants, who might not be the best in fighting but were definitely impressive in gathering intelligence.
"Thats nothing to be amazed at." Ashrosfin smiled and continued, "A professional merchant has to know about goods and power. We have to predict the future market based on the decisions of the big shots."
"So" Roland glanced at the wagons and said, "Your cargo this time must be standard equipment, right?"
"Impressive. Roland, you can definitely be a merchant too. Weapons trade is really profitable." Ashrosfin praised him and said, "There are five princes, including a bastard son, who have claim to the throne. Thirty big noble families are involved in this too. The turmoil may last for years in Hollevin after the kings death."
"Then, it will be the best opportunity for merchants like you to make a fortune."
Ashrosfin shrugged proudly and looked at the sky, before he said slowly, "I failed many times in business in reality. Though I didnt go bankrupt, I lost my determination to go on. I got this immersive cabin for fun, but I didnt expect that I could continue my dream here. In the turmoil of Hollevin, Cornucopia will definitely rise."
After a brief silence, Roland asked, "You have invested in one of the princes?"
"Smart!" Ashrosfin clapped his hands and said, "Very impressive. As expected of a man who became a Master Mage. Are you interested in joining us? Though Hollevin is small, you will earn a lot after we win!"
Roland looked Ashrosfin in the eyes. The man looked like another husky.
He looked at the singing players and had a lot of mixed feelings.
No matter how hilarious and silly the players might seem, they had all received a dozen years of systematic education.
Many college students and graduates felt that they hadnt learned anything after a decade of education, but they were only comparing themselves to their peers.
When those seemingly plain people were placed in this barren world of little knowledge and culture, they were all the best talents.
They might seem funny, but essentially, they were ferocious wolves in the disguise of husky skins.
After almost a year in this game, the players had gotten used to it. They were ready to bare their fangs at this world and take off their husky clothes.
Roland said after a brief silence, "If you have invested in a prince, other guilds mustve invested in other princes, right?"
"Probably. At least, the Temple of Jalan has already got a target. Any guild that is keen about current affairs is taking action. Only the unconnected players do not know whats going on yet." Ashrosfin stood up and said, "A powerful player like you will be a guest in every guild. Im sure that many more people will invite you, but I dont think any of them can be richer than us. Our rewards will be copious."
Rolands eyes moved to Andonara. After a while, he glanced at Ashrosfin and said, "I think Ill pass."
Ashrosfin looked at Andonara too. Then he shook his head and said, "You do prefer love to power, dont you?"
Then, Ashrosfin stepped forward and shouted, "Okay, its time to go!"
All the players jumped to their feet, packed up their stuff, and led the wagons to the road.
Standing on the road, Ashrosfin shouted at Roland, "Youre always a guest at Cornucopia, Almighty Roland."
Then, he waved at Roland with a smile and left with his team.
The wheels of the wagons crackled and rolled far away.
Andonara approached and grabbed Rolands hand. "You were friendly when you spoke earlier. Why did the atmosphere suddenly become grave?"
"He said that the king was dying." Roland observed Andonaras face carefully.
It took Andonara a while to understand what Roland meant.
She was rather surprised, but not sad or upset at all.
She even complained, "Huh? Why is he dying already? Then wont I lose my identity as the queen very soon?"
Roland asked casually, "Do you care about your identity as the queen so much?"
"Of course I do." Andonara stuck her face to Rolands arm and said matter-of-factly, "You only find me exciting because I am the queen, or I would be no different from any other woman."
Well Roland found it hard to keep up with Andonaras train of thought.
But Andonara suddenly grinned alluringly and rubbed Rolands arm gently with her breasts. "Do you not want to try it while Im still a queen? It will be very thrilling if you do it with a queen, and that feeling will be gone when Im no longer a queen later!"
Roland felt that he was full of passion under Andonaras mature attraction.
But after only two seconds, he suppressed the passion with his magnificent mental power. "Lets talk about it later."
Andonara glanced at him with a smile, as if she were mocking him for holding back his desires when he was already tempted.
Roland coughed and changed the topic. "Just now, Ashrosfin also told me that Bianca is the first princes territory, and he seems interested in you."
"Im not surprised," Andonara said. "Not just the first prince, all the princes who are old enough to know sex have privately and provocatively invited me to their fiefs or manors. I just ignored them."
The royal family was really a mess.
Roland sighed, full of mixed feelings, and said, "Bianca is the first princes territory. We were going to take a rest there, but I guess we have to bypass the city now."
"Well, I think its better to bypass the city too." Andonara nodded. "Although the first prince is weak, it might still be dangerous if Vivian and the rest of them encounter a great number of soldiers."
Roland looked back at the team of merchants and could see the slowly moving spots on the horizon.
He had a feeling that a war among the players would break out soon.
Everybody had different interests. Players were not exceptions.
But the players were undying. If they had conflicts with each other, this world would definitely be devastated.