The designated week has passed and Cale will return any moment now. I chatted a little with the kids and showed Raon how I make my stuff thoughout this past week. Even the great and mighty Raon Miru said he cannot do what I am doing, and he said it is very cool. That made me so happy, this little Dragon is so cute! Yesterday, Raon kept flying in circles above me deep in thought until Eruhaben came in and dragged him away for another lesson. He must really miss Cale. He’s currently sitting on the couch across from me with a contemplative expression while I drink mint tea and occasionally check my communication bracelet. Of course, Cale didn’t contact me, he doesn’t have a mage with him right now I think. Several minutes passed and suddenly the little Dragon’s head shot up, eyes sparkled, and his wings started to flap energetically. I guess Cale is back.
“The weak human is back!”
“Great for you Raon! I hope you can tell him about all the things you’ve learned.”
“Me too! I’ll go see him right now!!”
Raon shot out of the room like a rocket, almost knocking Lock down in the process upon the kid appearing unknowingly at the wrong place at the wrong time. Poor Lock. I didn’t get up. It would be strange to do so, and could even seem suspicious. It didn’t take too long for Cale to come into the lair, lightly nodding at me in acknowledgement of my presence, and I left the sitting room so he could call the Crown Prince Alberu with Raon’s help. I waited outside of the door while he chatted. My tea was still in there after all. Fifteen minutes or so later the door opened a crack and I heard Raon shouting in Cale’s face. I let myself back in and sat down.
“Let’s go find the power of earth!”
Cale sighed after gently pushing Raon away out of his personal space.
“What about your lessons?”
“…I can ask him to take me on a trip for practical experience.”
Cale waved his hand at that response. He’s definitely concerned about bringing two dragons somewhere to find the Super Rock.
“You just stay here and focus on your lessons. I can just go with Choi Han.”
“…Human. Listen to the words of the great and mighty Raon. The weak human needs me.”
“Good! Human! You made the right decision! I will go tell Eruhaben!”
I watched Raon fly off to go bug Eruhaben before turning to Cale, he was opening up the book he got from the Elves. He read a page, and then proceeded to immediately close it. LOL. Oh, he opened it again. I took another sip of my tea as I watched his expression change over and over as he read through the book. How could anyone think he was stoic? His face is an open book. He got to the end of the book before sighing and holding his head.
“God damn it. Sounds like my backyard.”
I placed down my teacup. It’s time to insert myself. I need to come anyway.
“It is indeed where you think it is Cale.”
Cale flinched as he realized I was here. He really didn’t realize I was sitting here this whole time? Cale, come on man. That’s really funny. He opened and shut his mouth over and over. It seems he doesn’t know where to even begin asking why I know that and what I know. Cute. At that moment of shocked silence, Raon came back with a tray of fruits and a dumbfounded Eruhaben. He presented the fruits to Cale. I stealthily stole a few grapes and observed the conversation.
“Human, human! I brought you some fresh fruits since you like to eat fruit when you read! I heard you got drenched in the rain when going to the cave. You suffered quite a bit. You need to eat a lot to grow up strong.”
“Wow, I’ve never seen a Dragon serve a human in my thousand years of existence. I’ve seen it all at this point.”
(No, you really haven’t. This is just the beginning, Eru dear. When it comes to Cale, nothing is ever the end.)
“I brought Goldie gramps as well! I brought him so that we can talk about the practical experience.”
“So you’re Goldie gramps now huh, Eru dear? Isn’t that nice?”
Ah, he flinched at what I said. I’m sorry, okay! I pushed myself too far when I tried to make an engraving that can influence a dragon’s attribute! It even worked too so you can’t complain about this because you acknowledged me. I know you’re just tsun goldie gramps. I know you. You’re just a softie.
Cale looked amused at Eruhaben’s expression in response to my teasing. He gestured to one of the chairs for the old Dragon to sit.
“Eruhaben-nim, please sit.”
“Haa. Why did I let in such a troublesome kid and such a strange being at my old age.”
“Goldie, I am not troublesome!”
“Eru dear, I know I’m weird but to say it to my face and call me a “being” is rather rude isn’t it? I know you were impressed and are trying not to admit it~ Eru dear, it’s not healthy to deny your feelings~”
“Not troublesome? You’re already thinking about ditching your lessons. And you. Karin.”
“Yes, Eru dear?”
(Hehe Evelyn one, Eruhaben zero. I knew I was right, you can’t even deny it!)
Raon slapped the needlessly shiny gold table with his paw to get everyone’s attention.
“No! I am just trying to help the human become strong! And I am not trying to ditch! I want to get real experience with you, Goldie! Goldie gramps! I want to go with you!”
I watched as this tsundere old man’s lips twitched. Just give up gramps, you can’t win.
“I don’t feel like going with you.”
“No! I want to go with you, Goldie!”
(Raon has made his stance very clear and has been so incredibly cute. No one could win against that combo. Especially not a softie like you Eru dear)
“Little kid, it is my decision whether or not I go with you.”
He turned towards Cale.
“Cale Henituse, it is not easy to find the power of Earth. It will be very difficult to go around looking for it without any information. First we will need to find any ancient books that discuss the power.”
“Eru dear, Cale has a book that talks about it right here that he got from the Elves. Also, we already know where it is. Cale will easily be able to find its location once we get close enough as well, since his ancient powers were friends when they were alive. The method of gaining the power will also be easy for him.”
Three pairs of eyes turned to stare at me in absolute shock. Cale’s eyes were shaking. I sipped my tea calmly, although a normal person would probably have fainted frothing at the mouth having two Dragons almost glaring at you. I don’t feel any pressure though.
“…What is it? Cale, you’ll be fine as long as you go get the Super Rock. Your plate will be balanced and stabilized then, since you’ll have all the elements. Don’t worry, the Super Rock is a good guy. He’ll protect you and even give you some nice extras too. You’ll need him if you want to get through the wars coming up.”
I slapped a hand over my mouth. Ah, damn my big mouth!
“How do you know about the earth ancient power’s-”
Cale cut Eruhaben off, but no one cared considering the situation Cale is in and the bombs I’ve just dropped before I could stop myself.
“Karin, do you know where this earth ancient power is?”
“Uhhhh, yeah? It’s in the inner region of the Forest of Darkness. Shit, why-”
Why does my big mouth keep flapping its lips?? Cale leaned back and smirked. Dammit, did he do something?
“I asked Raon and Eruhaben-nim to develop a non-harmful truth serum for me since I’ve had this feeling you know more than should be possible for a while now. It’s not poisonous and will not cause you pain. It just makes you more willing to say what you know. You’ve been proving yourself to be on this side from the beginning, and I do not wish to hurt someone who is not an enemy. However.”
He leaned in near my face with that smirk on his face. Shit, why though?? I don’t want to change the timeline of events!! Please don’t ask me too much… All I wanted was to help out! If I tell you everything I won’t be useful anymore and you won’t have any reason to keep me around you and everyone else! I don’t want that!
“I want some answers, Karin Orsena. You have a strange skillset and way of speaking for a noble lady, and sometimes it feels like you can read my mind and know what I am thinking. It’s very eerie. I will start asking questions, please answer them.”
That’s fair. I guess I would be creeped out too if someone basically finished my thought-sentences for me over and over despite not knowing each other for more than a few months.
“…Alright. Can I please say ‘I’d rather not answer’ if I cannot tell you things for reasons outside of my control? I will do my best to answer as much as possible, I promise. I’m even willing to do a Vow of Death if it reassures you I mean no harm to you and your people.”
“That is fine. A Vow of Death would be annoying, don’t you think?”
“Yes, especially because the vow lets the God of Death know where you are at all time- shit! Am I allowed to say that?? I wonder if the butterfly effect will be kind to you…”
Cale looked at me in surprise over my genuine concern. Yes I know I’m not worried about myself, Cale. I am on your side, why wouldn’t I worry about you… He turned to Eruhaben to try to verify the information I gave him.
“Is that true Eruhaben-nim? Do you know anything about this?”
“I have no idea. This seems like the kind of a secret that even the world tree would be hesitant to say in fear of losing a branch… However based on the distress on this person’s face I would say she is telling the truth.”
“Of course I’m telling the truth! Why would I lie when I know what is gonna happen in the future around Cale! I just want to help make those things that happen easier for you and your people to solve and succeed in! Ah, damn this serum!”
I smacked my thigh in frustration. Damn it. I need to wait a minute to think before I speak. Think before you speak, Evelyn. Not after. Cale nodded his head with a small sly smile… That must be the smile when he finds someone useful. Hey, that’s better than holding me in contempt or something. I’ve had enough of those kinds of looks, both of us. Next question!
“Alright. Now then, I’ll have you tell me why you know about the relationship between that earth ancient power, Super Rock, and my ancient power or powers. Also, tell me why you know where the earth power is.”
“Ah, um… How do I say this without endangering your sense of existence by giving information at an inopportune moment and sounding like an even bigger lunatic than I already do… Um, I know because I read that Super Rock, along with the cheapskate aka Fire of Destruction, the Glutton who is the Indestructible Shield, and the the thief, the Sound of the Wind as well as one other power were the ancient heroes who died protecting the world in Ancient Times. The Super Rock died protecting the Northeast region even as his body broke down. It’s why there’s so much stone in the Henituse territory and the Roan Kingdom in general. Um, please don’t ask for more details about this yet. I’m really trying my best and withholding information I really wanna say but I know will cause you trouble so please just give me another question Cale. I promise to give you more details in the future when it’s a more appropriate timeframe.”
He crossed his legs and frowned. Please Cale, I know you aren’t happy about this but please don’t press for more right now. Please.
“… I’ll listen to that request for now. Next. Who are you.”
Fuck. Is this karma? Did I just use all my good karma on the mercy in regards to the last question? This sucks.
“What a bomb of a question you just dropped on me.”
“You aren’t Karin, are you?”
“…I am sort of Karin. I am her and not her yet both at the same time.”
He paused his questioning. I could see the ‘what?’ in his eyes. Yeah buddy, welcome to my reality. We have cookies and anomalous existences. He held his face with his hand and sighed, before continuing the apparent interrogation. Joy is me. I want to cry. Oh. I am crying now. Great. Cale’s eyes opened wide while Raon and Eruhaben flinched. They seem shocked to see my tears. What exactly did you expect by drugging my tea with a truth serum then interrogating me?? Happiness??? Cale sighed, and his facial expression softened. He seems to feel bad. Good. This is rude. You should feel bad.
“Last question. Why help me?”
OH BOY KEEP IT TOGETHER KEEP IT TO A FEW WORDS EVELYN HOO BOY ALRIGHT NEVERMIND I CAN’T IT IS TIME FOR THE FLOODGATES TO COMPLETELY OPEN
I cried for like ten minutes or so. They didn’t stop me or try to comfort me, they just let me cry. Raon gave me a napkin at the end, his blue eyes all wide and little tears at the corners. You’re so precious.
“Thank you Raon… Ahem. I want to help you find happiness in this world and make sure you don’t lose anyone precious to you ever again. I want to help you to ensure you can do whatever you want to do just a little bit easier if possible. And if I can, I want to force that God of Death bastard to give those two back to you after all the mess he’s gonna have you clean up for him. I can’t say their names because the God of Death may be listening through the vow, but you three deserve to have your happy ending. Especially you, Cale. You deserve to be able to grow old farming and slacking together with those you cherish, Cale.”
Cale’s jaw would have dropped to the floor if it could have. Eruhaben and Raon look confused but they are not interrupting. I suppose they can sense the atmosphere.
(Cale, I truly do want to help you achieve your happiness just a bit easier than how it happens in the novel. This is how I want to thank you for how your story got me through the hard years. )
I put a finger to my lips as though telling him to shush. I really can’t tell you yet Cale. It’s too early. You haven’t healed enough. I smiled gently at him with a face that said I understood.
“‘I’d rather not answer’. However I will tell you this, Cale. I understand, and I am on your side. Always. No matter what.”
An emotional silence filled the room and permeated the air. Until I added a little extra snippet to help convince Goldie gramps and Eruhaben fully broke it with a sigh.
“Ahem anyway. The earth attribute ancient power. Super Rock. There’s a fun ancient seal on a pillar next to where Cale will get the power. It was made by the Super Rock long ago and there’s a passage to the Eastern continent sealed in there. It was sealed in ancient times and the seal is still strong on this side. Eru dear, wouldn’t that be fun to investigate?”
“Haaaah… Never would I have thought I’d hear of such things as these in my thousand years of Dragon existence. How unlucky.”
Cale still sat there blankly staring at me. He has a lot to process right now. On the other hand, Raon caught on quick that it was time to get back on track. He raised a paw as though he wanted to ask a question in school. Cute kiddo.
“Ahem, well. Cale Henituse, you seem to be very lucky.”
“…It seems so?”
“Well, Goldie! Let’s go! The human still needs the earth ancient power!”
“I will do whatever I want to do, little kid. That is what Dragons do.”
“Can I go too?”
Of course, Eru dear came along. I’m looking forward to seeing the Forest of Darkness and the Super Rock Villa with my own eyes. As one of the first people too!
‘What the hell even happened just now.’