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Cale, who was coming out of the bedroom and heading to the back door, ran into Odeus.
“Odeus, very satisfactory performance.”
Odeus didn't know whether to laugh or cry at Cale's comment. However, based on the results of everything, he had only happiness on his mind.
“No, the pleasure was mine. I am very happy about the overflowing benefit I gained.”
Cale didn't even play along to say that the fee Odeus received was small.
The deal was for Cale to get rid of Venion from the Southern Underworld after all.
“I'll contact you next time.”
Odeus did not want to see Cale ever again. His instincts that he had built up through his long life were telling him that it was dangerous and that he would suffer greatly. However, his vast experience was also telling him that it was unavoidable. He will have no choice but to see him again.
“Of course. I will let you know where I am every so often.”
Cale got on the carriage with Beacrox in the driver's seat. The driver who had brought the carriage to the Stan territory had already returned.
“You know what to do with the bas.e.m.e.nt, right?”
Odeus's eyes slightly shook. He looked toward where the entrance to the bas.e.m.e.nt near the back door used to be. Now it was just a pile of rubble.
“…I will take care of everything properly.”
Odeus had seen the remains of the feast as well as the broken torture devices in the bas.e.m.e.nt before it was destroyed.
'Total bulls.h.i.+t about him being a good person.'
There were no good n.o.bles with a strong sense of self-sacrifice. There were all vicious and sly.
“And I don't want you to tell Billos about what happened.”
“Secrets are the life of such commissions.”
“Yes, I know. It definitely is the main part.”
Both of them started to gently smile at each other. However, neither of them was smiling internally.
“Then, off I go.”
“Please have a safe journey.”
Odeus's goodbye was very sincere like he wanted to never see Cale again. Cale smirked at Odeus's goodbye and closed the carriage door.
Beacrox started to drive as soon as the door closed.
The carriage left the Stan territory and headed toward the Kingdom's western region. They continued to quickly travel other than resting during the night.
Cale, who had been looking out the window, turned his head after hearing Choi Han's gentle voice. Choi Han's unique pure smile was on his face as he was handing On and Hong some snacks.
"No. Not bored!”
“I enjoy rolling around doing nothing the most”
Choi Han laughed and responded back.
“You guys really are similar to Cale-nim.”
'…Is he talking s.h.i.+t about me?'
Cale focused on Choi Han after hearing what could be both a compliment or a dig and then turned his gaze to On and Hong.
The carriage was currently between the Roan Kingdom's Northwest and Southwest region. Basically, they were currently in the Western region of the Kingdom. If the Northeastern region where the Henituse territory lies was famous for its marble, the Northwest to the West region was famous for their granite.
That was why there were a lot of stone mountains in this region.
Choi Han continued to speak.
“I came here last time too but there really is nothing other than stone mountains.”
'Choi Han pa.s.sed through here before?'
Cale questioned that fact in his mind before quickly figuring it out.
Rosalyn. He probably pa.s.sed through here when he went to the Breck Kingdom with Lock to help Rosalyn out.
“Did you pa.s.s by when you went to the Breck Kingdom?”
Cale had an odd feeling after seeing Choi Han's reaction to his question. Seeing Choi Han hesitating to answer gave him a bitter feeling. Cale continued to speak like nothing was wrong.
“Did you cause a mess in the Breck Kingdom?”
“…It wasn't like that.”
Cale did not ask anything else. He did not want to know. It was enough that he heard the results of it from crown prince Alberu.
However, there was something else he needed to ask.
“Did you pa.s.s by the Ten Finger Mountain when you went through the West?”
“Hmm? Is there a mountain with such a name? I have never heard it before.”
On, Hong, and Raon seemed interested in the unique name as well. Their sparkling gazes asking Cale to explain made Cale scowl.
Raon put his paw on Cale's knee.
“Human, explain! I am curious!”
In the end, Cale had to explain.
“There are many strong rocks called granite in the West. However, not everything is made of such rocks. Still, at the border of the West and Southwest region are ten granite peaks next to each other.”
These granite peaks were located at the border of the West and Southwest and had a unique shape that looked like ten fingers.
“Mm, I don't think we saw it last time because we cut through the Northwest and not the Southwest region. It was the same when we came back. I'm sure I would have remembered seeing such a mountain.”
“Really? I was curious because they said it was a unique view from there.”
Raon responded to Cale's answer about being curious. Raon remembered how Cale told Litana that he enjoyed traveling.
Raon opened his mouth to say, 'let's go there right now!'
However, Cale was faster.
“I thought about going there in about a year. That was why I asked.”
“A year later?”
Cale definitely had to go to the Ten Finger Mountains in one year.
'The last Ancient Power will reveal itself there.'
Cale needed to get this final ancient power, an attacking fire ancient power that was similar to lightning.
“I thought it'd be great if we all traveled together.”
Cale nonchalantly mumbled that line, but his words made the fatigue on On, Hong, and Raon's face all disappear. Choi Han also had a small smile on his face.
“Yes, that sounds good. But there probably aren't any villages near there.”
“Why wouldn't ther-, no, there aren't any.”
Cale looked toward Choi Han and the children and sternly repeated himself.
“There are none. Based on my knowledge, there are no villages around there.”
'None at all.'
At least when it came to human villages.
The problem was that there was a village of Elves who pa.s.sionately loved nature and almost wors.h.i.+ped dragons.
They were a magical race that used illusion magic to hide their village and lived away from humans. They were the race that was closest to nature after the dragons.
That was why they were able to handle elementals and had a beauty that was admired by all humans.
They were different than the Dark Elves who were just as beautiful but had the darkness element instead.
In the novel, Choi Han pa.s.ses through the Ten Finger Mountains with Lock on their way back from dealing with the issues in the Breck Kingdom.
They coincidentally happen to find the Elf Village and get involved with one elf.
Pendrick the Healer.
Unlike Cale's restoration abilities, the Elf Pendrick had the ability to heal others. He joins Choi Han's group and starts to travel with them.
Fantasy worlds always seem to have at least one elf in the main character's party. That was Pendrick in this novel.
'The problem is that he ends up dying.'
The original point of Lock's berserk transformation was Pendrick's death. He died while Lock was protecting him and that results in Lock going berserk for the first time. It also changes Lock's personality as well.
That meant that Pendrick should not die if he does not meet Lock or travel with Choi Han's party.
'They already missed the moment to run into each other.'
Pendrick had not had any interactions with Cale, Choi Han or Lock until now. If one year pa.s.ses like this, Pendrick would have lived longer than he had lived in the novel.
It could be considered the biggest change in the flow of the original novel.
“…Yes, there are no villages.”
Cale mumbled once more and made up his mind.
He told himself that he would avoid the Elf Village when he went to the Ten Finger Mountains next year.
He had taken on too much baggage by not thinking things through and just doing whatever he thought was the easiest for him. Cale was not going to let the same thing happen again next year.
“I want it to be next year already. I do not care if there are no villages.”
Cale looked toward Raon who seemed to be excited.
He definitely could not take a dragon to the Elf Village. He would be treated like a G.o.d. Thinking about that was already giving Cale the chills.
Cale quickly turned away from Raon. He strongly reminded himself that he would not even take a step into the Western region until he returns a year later with the crown prince's golden plaque to find the last ancient power.
Cale opened the small window toward the driver's seat and spoke to Beacrox.
“Let's speed it up a bit.”
The carriage quickly drove through the Western region and arrived at the capital.
“It has been too long, your highness.”
The gently smiling Cale, who was wearing a simple yet stylish outfit, would catch anybody's attention.
“Yes. I am glad to see you again. How was your recovery?”
Blonde hair and blue eyes. Alberu, who was just as handsome as Cale, smiled brightly as he hugged Cale.
They were currently in front of the Crown Prince's palace. Crown prince Alberu was warmly welcoming the hero of the now faint Plaza Terror Incident.
Although people didn't talk about it much anymore, the Plaza was still being rebuilt and had knights patrolling around it. There were also many who were upset with the palace for not revealing the ident.i.ty of the terrorists.
“I was able to rest well and recover thanks to your highness's concerns and the royal family's generosity.”
Cale, who was smiling like he was telling the truth, definitely looked healthy. Crown prince Alberu looked at him like he was happy that Cale had recovered and then pointed to the inside of the palace.
“Come on in. I should at least give you some tea since you've come to visit after such a long time.”
“Yes, your highness. I'm sure you are busy with work, so I will only take a bit of your time.”
I don't know why you do this every time.
Cale had the same thoughts but there was nothing he could do.
The moment they entered Alberu's office and closed the door, both Cale and Alberu who had been walking close to each other quickly moved away.
“Your highness, you must be tired.”
“I'm sure you feel the same way.”
Alberu sighed before pointing to a table on one side of the office. However, he noticed that Cale had always walked over there and sat down on what seemed to be the most comfortable couch.
“People will think you've been here a couple of times.”
“It is my first time here, but I feel like it is very welcoming.”
Cale had no problem using that glib tongue of his. Alberu looked toward Cale who sat on the couch of his choice while keeping the seat at the head of the table open for him and sat down.
“I thought I told you to come as quickly as possible.”
“That is why I cut into my sleeping time to rush here, your highness.”
Alberu snorted at Cale's response. He didn't know what Cale had been up to, but the person who was supposed to be in the Northeastern Henituse territory had come in from the West.
And he knew exactly what had happened in the West, no, the Northwest region right now.
“You are a very suspicious person.”
Alberu took a sip of the tea that his servant brought over and just quietly observed Cale until the servant left the room. There was quite a lot for him to discuss with Cale today. He also had a lot of requests for Cale as well.
The crown prince has a sneaky look on his face.
Cale agreed with Raon's a.s.sessment and pretended not to notice Alberu's gaze. The gaze was one that seemed to want to take a lot from him today, however, that thought and their relations.h.i.+p will go the opposite way.
The servant left the office with a small click of the door. Alberu was about to speak but there was someone who started to speak even faster.
Cale made eye contact with Alberu who seemed confused. Raon was speaking in his mind as he did that.
After dealing with both things, I am now certain. He really is an odd existence.
Cale took a magic bag out of his pocket.
“I have prepared a present for you.”
“Yes, for the star on the minds of our Kingdom's-.”
Alberu was not happy at hearing that Cale had a present for him. In fact, he looked toward Cale with even more suspicion. It was because of the things that had happened with Cale up to this point. However, he could not lie and say that there was no antic.i.p.ation in his mind at hearing about a present. A few weeks ago, Alberu had already received one of Cale's so-called presents under one of the Flynn Merchant Guild's people.
“Let's first take a look at this present.”
Cale slowly opened the magic bag with Alberu's permission. Raon's voice rang in Cale's mind as he took a small gla.s.s bottle out of the bag.
He has a darkness attribute.
The gla.s.s bottle was placed on the table.
“… What is this?”
Cale showed with his actions instead of answering.
Squeak, squeak. The lid of the gla.s.s bottle slowly opened.
This small gla.s.s bottle was full of black water.
The lid opened completely, and an invisible substance slowly started to come out of the bottle.
I am used to this smell. I smelled it in the Black Swamp.
The scent of the dead mana slowly started to fill the room.
This was one of the items he received from the Whale King on their way to the Whipper Kingdom.
Unlike Cale's other bottle, this bottle only had dead mana with no poison in it.
⅓ of what he received from the Whale King was in this small bottle.
Cale slowly closed the lid back while seeing that Alberu could not continue to speak.
“Your highness, of course, this present is not free.”
There was no way Cale would give something so precious for free.
It was poison for humans and not precious at all.
However, Cale remembered what Raon had said about Alberu the last time they were here.
'Why did this puny human called the crown prince dye his hair with magic? It is at a level that only a great dragon like me can notice. Did another dragon dye it for him? No, is it a different type of power?'
A different type of power. Raon was able to tell that it was different than natural mana because he was a dragon, but he was not sure of exactly what it was.
It made sense because Raon had never experienced it before.
However, he had experienced it now.
Cale mumbled like he was talking to himself.
“Probably not a demon, black magic, or a necromancer.”
It was used by those with the darkness attribute to use magic. Of course, it was very different than regular mana. Magic Devices that were made to detect mana could not detect dead mana. Especially if the dead mana was used by a high-tiered race.
“I heard that the late Queen was an average person, but that people thought she was part Southerner because her skin was a bit dark.”
Raon mentioned that the crown prince had regular brown hair.
His hair and eyes were regular but Alberu was known for his looks. People also said that the crown prince's mother was a beauty as well.
“Dark Elves have dark skin, but I heard that a mixed child of a Dark Elf has skin similar to the Southerners.”
Cale looked toward Alberu and finished his deduction.
“So then, the child of a half-blooded Dark Elf?”
The crown prince answered more confidently than Cale expected.
“You're driving me crazy.”
“I guess I was right.”