“Haah~” Cale sighed when he finally managed to calm down from his laughing fit. “That was hilarious.”
His stomach hurt from laughing too much, and even now when he thought of the way Glutton cursed at GoD, he found it hard to stop himself from chuckling again. It was only due to his strong will that he managed to resist letting out another boisterous laugh.
:Glad to see that someone is finding my situation funny.
Glutton’s voice was drier than the desert as she scorned him for laughing at her expense. Well, he had to admit, he was being a bit insensitive by laughing outright at her like that. If he had been stuck in the same situation he’d have thrown a massive fit and somehow tried to blow up the world tree again.
Just thinking of it by putting himself in her shoes sobered him up. Somewhat.
“Ahem!” he fake-coughed, and tried to act as if he hadn’t been laughing at Glutton a while ago. “Fancy seeing you here, my dear Glutton~” Cale greeted her in a sing-song tone, which only managed to annoy Glutton even further. “How is life as a glorified ancient power treating you, hmm?”
“Tasted anything good yet, other than the snacks I served you today~“ He gloated with a sharp smile on his face. “What about dead mana? Was it tasty enough for you?”
Even though he had a smile on his face, Glutton could tell that the cheapskate was angry.
“Of course not. Whatever gave that away, I wonder~” Cale said dryly, the sharp smile not leaving his face.
:I don’t get it…. What made you so angry? I am the one who got the short end of the stick, why are you getting worked up for?
Glutton seemed to be confused as she wondered what could make this cheapskate so livid. Did someone scam him out of his money? Hmm, seems like it.
The fake smile on his face immediately disappeared, and the only thing remained was an ice cold look in his eyes.
“Why am I getting worked up, you say?” Cale’s voice took a scathing tone as he hissed at her. “It’s because you died, Glutton.” He clenched his fists tightly. “How could you just die like that?”
:You died before me.
Glutton spoke dryly.
“I wasn’t idiotic enough to consume something as soul corrupting as dead mana.” Cale insisted. “Don’t think I didn’t notice the state your soul was in earlier. It was pitch black. It reeked of evil. It not only suppressed your powers, but your sanity itself.”
“Seriously, what were you thinking? Who in their right mind would eat dead mana?!”
:You don’t get to say that, considering you were the one who died first!
She retorted sharply.
:You rushed heard-first the moment you were notified about the Golems. Seriously, what were you thinking?! How many times have we told you to stop rushing head first, you damned muscle-brained idiot!!!
She scolded him.
:You should’ve waited for us! Did you think we would not come to your help? Do you not trust us?!
“I do trust you!” Cale argued back. “However, there was no other choice! I am the only one who can purify dead mana!”
:Well, not anymore.
Cale said flatly.
:Yes. I figured out how to purify dead mana. Well, in a sense, ‘purify’ is a loose term to describe it.
She sounded really smug for some reason.
:You might’ve guessed it by now. I can purify dead mana by ‘eating’ it.
After listening to everything that she told him about the events that took place after his death, Cale let his head fall into his hands and groaned.
‘These reckless idiots-! Did that crazy kid’s insanity rub off on these fellows?’
Why else would these idiots come up with such ridiculous methods?
Is there a hole in their brains? Why do they always act outside of anyone’s comprehension?!
“Aigoo, my head..” Cale said as he rubbed his temple to soothe the oncoming headache. “You guys are so reckless!” he complained.
:Not as reckless as you.
Glutton calmly pointed out.
Cale gave the transparent hole a stink-eye. “I beg to differ.” He said dryly.
Glutton didn’t deem him with a response, her silence told him the obvious. She was looking down on him.
The corner of his mouth twitched.
“Alright then, let’s head back.” Cale spoke as he glanced at the gradually darkening sky. He dusted off his pants and stood up. “I’ve spent too much time here. We should be heading back.”
Cale blinked. “Of course, you’re coming with me too.” He then tilted his head and said wryly. “Why? You thought I’d abandon you?”
He chuckled. He then lifted his chin up and said proudly, “I don’t have the habit of abandoning my people.”
She answered him slowly.
:I think you’re mistaken. Who said I’m coming with you?”
He was startled by her words. “Wha– You’re kidding right?” He asked, bewildered. “Where would you go if not with me?
:I would rather wait for a suitable candidate to impart my power to them, rather than follow you back. Truthfully, I don’t want to deal with all your idiocies. Just thinking of the headache I will definitely be sporting being stuck to a bull-headed monkey like you who attracts trouble wherever he goes makes me wary.
“You aren’t even alive anymore, how can you get a headache?” Cale argued back. “Also, I’m not that bad! I swear it’s that old plant’s fault!”
:You can’t blame the world tree for your abysmal luck.
“Tch,” he clicked his tongue petulantly. “You’re so heartless, Glutton.” He said dramatically. “After everything I did for you, this is how you repay me? I didn’t even get a good night’s sleep in my haste to get to you! I also gave you food, Glutton. Food!”
:You fed me burnt meat and raw vegetables.
She said dryly.
:I do appreciate you for offering me food, but would it have killed you to try harder to provide me with decent food?
“So this is how you’re going to be, huh?” Cale snorted. “Are you trying to destroy the bridge after crossing the river? Shame on you.” He tried to guilt trip her, but that didn’t work. Why, oh why didn’t that scammer’s eloquence with words rubbed off on him? Persuading Glutton would be so much easier if a certain swindler was here with him.
Honestly, Cale really didn’t want to leave Glutton here. Just the thought of her choosing someone else instead of him, leaving him to make new friends and have new adventures soured his mood.
Ten thousand years is a long time. He guessed that much time is enough for someone to get numbed about the deaths of the comrades you’ve lost. Maybe that’s why it’s easier for her to deny him.
However, for him it has only been a day since he died. A day, since he left behind his friends and family. He hasn’t even really come to terms with what he has lost, before he came face-to-face with Glutton’s soul. He hadn’t even got the time to be relieved about the fact that he hadn’t lost all his friends, that at least Glutton is here with him (That he wasn’t all alone in this familiar, and yet foreign world) before she refused his offer to come with him.
Maybe he’s being selfish, but he can’t let go of her. Not now.
So that’s why, seeing that his friend was still unmoved, he decided to change tactics.
‘It’s time for plan B.’
“Haah,” He sighed dramatically and tilted his head just so. “I spent so much money to buy all that food, and this is how you repay me?!”
:Your guilt-tripping won’t work on me.
“Ah fine.” Cale seemingly admitted defeat. “You do you.” He shrugged. “I guess I should leave then. It’s getting quite late.”
Glutton hesitated before calling out to him.
:Hey, Cheapskate. Are you- Are you happy now?
“Hmm? Oh yes.” He grinned. “Did you know that I am now a second rich generation? I am the eldest son of the wealthiest noble family in the empire! I am rich now, hahaha!”
She was amused as she heard his excited chatter.
:Is that so?
“Yeah! My father -the Count- gives me a generous allowance and I can spend that money in whatever way I want! I do have a stepmother and step siblings, but they aren’t bad at all!” Cale babbled excitedly. “I now have servants who serve me to their best of abilities, knights who protect me and follow my orders. I especially like the old butler Ron who takes care of me as if I’m his own child. I also got myself a porter yesterday! Haha, he looks so much like that scammer!”
“The noble Family I have been reborn into is very rich and influential in this region, which is great! I can enjoy all kinds of luxuries now! A big manor, Extravagant clothes, and even delectable food. Oh, the food~ I swear I have never tasted something so delicious! It has only been a day at most since I woke up in this body, and I’ve already started appreciating the chef’s skill! I think we have the best chef in the world!” Hook.
Cale went on and on as he sang praises of Beacrox’s cooking. “He cooks really delicious food! I have never tasted such delicious dishes! Such mouth watering dishes! Such heavenly taste! I swear Beacrox is the God of cooking!~” Line.
:(gulps) I-Is he really that good?
Her voice trembled, as if she was trying to resist falling into temptation. Well, it’s too late for that. She had already taken the bait.
Heh, as long as you mention food, it’s so easy to swindle Glutton.
“Yeah! I ate steak for lunch yesterday, and it was so good!” He gushed. “It had a rich, strong flavour, and yet it didn’t overwhelm the entire dish. The texture of the meat was so soft, tender and juicy. It was savoury and salty, and the tender meat seemed to melt on my tongue after a few chews. I have never had such a delicious steak in my life!”
“Oh how I wish you too could taste Beacrox’s cooking. Then you may understand what I mean when I say that Beacrox is like the God of cooking!” He then sighed in disappointment. “It really is such a shame that you aren’t coming with me. You could’ve gotten to taste his craft.” Sinker.
:……If I follow you, I can get to taste his cooking?
“Of course!” Cale raised his brow and said confidently, “You know I won’t lie to you about food. It’s quite unfortunate that you refused-”
:Then take me with you!
Glutton immediately demanded.
“……Ah?” Cale pretended to be confused. “But you earlier said you didn’t want to come with me?”
:I’m taking that back now! I will come with you! I want to taste the God of Cooking’s dishes!
“Are you sure?” He asked in faux-hesitation.
:God of Cooking, here I come!!
A bright light poured out from the hole, that almost blinded him.
“What is this?” Cale wondered as he unconsciously held out his hand towards the light that was being emitted from the hole. The moment the beam of light touched his hand, a tingling warmth –that was quite different from the fiery heat of his fire powers– surged from his fingertips. The warm sensation travelled through his hand,and finally reached his heart.
Her soft voice then whispered in his ears-
:This time, I will protect you, my friend.
A silver light appeared around his body, as if enveloping him in a warm embrace. The silvery light then got absorbed in his body, and settled in his chest.
Cale placed a hand over his heart.
Ba-thump. Ba-thump. Ba-thump.
His heartbeat thudded in his chest, as if reminding him that he was alive. He could feel the tingling warm power of his friend wrapping around his heart, as if telling him that she will keep her promise.
He pulled up his shirt and his smile widened at the sight of a silver shield itched over his heart. However, even though he was happy, his mouth was still dishonest.
“Hey, can’t you change the colour of the shield?” Cale asked seriously. “Silver is inferior to gold, you know.”
He lifted his chin up and said proudly, “A Golden shield would suit me much, much better than a silver one, don’t you think so?”
:I see, your aesthetics are as atrocious as ever. Even rebirth couldn’t cure that terrible sense of yours, huh. What a pity.
“I will have you know that I have a good sense of style.” Cale scoffed. “You are just jealous of my talent. A golden shield would be more eye catching than a silver one! It’s just a colour change, what’s the big deal anyway?”
:I don’t see you changing the colour of your thunderbolt to silver. Wouldn’t that look more divine?
“Gold is better.” Cale declared sagely.
:No matter what you say, I will not change the shield’s colour. My power comes with a silver shield. Deal with it.
A certain HungryPit (EDITOR) has something to say~
If the food is not as delicious as Cheapskate claims… :attacc:
Cheapskate’s mental theatre-
*If Glutton and Cheapskate switched places- (aka, Glutton-as-Human-Cale and Cheapskate-as-Ancient-Power)*
Cale!Glutton: *mutters gloatingly while eating a feast prepared by Beacrox* Are you jealous, you damn Cheapskate? I’m rich, noble, AND I have the best chef in the world!!!
Cheapskate: I WILL FREAKING BURN THAT OLD MAN WORLD TREE TO ASHES! I SWEAR IT MUST BE THAT PUNY SENILE TWIG’S FAULT!
“Senile twig” World Tree: QAQ Ancestor, I am a virtuous plant! I didn’t do anything!